It has emerged that at least one of those arrested in France over an arson attack on a bus in which a woman was critically injured is just 14. Five minors were detained in early morning raids on two housing estates not far from where the attack took place in Marseille. They are aged between 14 and 17.
France is in a state of shock over the incident and there are fears there could be further street disturbances. A number of cars and buses have been burned in the run-up to the first anniversary of street violence that erupted across France last year. But the attack in the southern city at the weekend was the worst.
Colleagues of the injured woman held a vigil at the university where the injured woman of Senegalese origin is a student.
“We want to share this painful time with her,” the victim’s friend, Sara Mgosak, said. “I don’t know if she can see it but we all love her.”
“She’s a victim of human stupidity,” activist Moussa Koite said. “We must fight against it. It must not be part of the culture of this country.”
The French government has introduced tough measures to try avoid a repeat of last year’s trouble. The opposition has accused it of not doing enought to tackle underlying social problems.