Thursday, November 10, 2005

The French Intifada Rages On

The destruction continued last night:

Arsonists attacked again overnight, the 14th straight day of violence. However, car burnings fell again overnight to 482 from 617 the previous night, Hamon said. The peak in car arsons was overnight between Sunday and Monday, when 1,408 vehicles were torched. The number has steadily dropped every night since then.

This "is an encouraging sign that does not, however, diminish the police effort," Hamon said.

Overnight, vandalism at two power stations caused blackouts in parts of Lyon, France's second-largest city, police said.

Vandals set 11 cars ablaze and rammed a burning car into a primary school in the southern city of Toulouse, damaging its entrance, police said. Another school was set on fire in the eastern city of Belfort.

Violence, albeit on a much smaller scale, spilled across France's borders to Belgium, where rioters burned cars for a fifth straight night. Fifteen vehicles were torched, but the government said the attacks were isolated and could not be compared to the French riots.

France's emergency decree paved the way for possible curfews in Paris, its suburbs and more than 30 other cities and towns nationwide if officials feel they are needed. By Wednesday evening, only a few municipalities and regions imposed them; Paris had not.

In Nice, Cannes and 19 other towns in the Riviera region, minors were forbidden from being outdoors between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. without adult supervision. Certain bars in Nice and another town were ordered closed during those hours for 10 days.

There have been no direct clashes between youths and police in the Riviera but unrest that started in the area on Friday had persisted in some towns for four nights.