Sunday, November 06, 2005


11th Night of
Riots In France


From Associated Press:


PARIS - President Jacques Chirac promised Sunday to restore public order across France as unrest spread from suburban Paris to cities south and north, with rioters battling police, throwing Molotov cocktails and ramming a car into a housing project during an 11th night of mayhem.

The violence has escalated from an outburst of anger in suburban Paris housing projects into a nationwide show of disdain for French authority from youths and minorities, most French-born children of Arab and black Africans angered by years of unequal opportunities.

Youths set ablaze nearly 1,300 vehicles and torched businesses, schools and symbols of French authority, including post offices and provincial police stations, late Saturday and early Sunday.

The violence reached the well-guarded French capital Saturday night. Police said 35 cars were torched, most on the city's northern and southern edges.

In the city center, gasoline bombs damaged three cars near Place de la Republique. Residents reported a loud explosion and flames.

"We were very afraid," said Annie Partouche, 55, who watched the cars burning from her apartment window. "We were afraid to leave the building."

In Evreux, 60 miles west of Paris, five police officers and three firefighters were injured in clashes with youths who destroyed at least 50 vehicles, shops and businesses, a post office and two schools, authorities said.

"Rioters attacked us with baseball bats," said Philippe Jofres, a deputy fire chief, told France-2 television. "We were attacked with pick axes. It was war."