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  1. #1
    Senior Member jp_48504's Avatar
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    Apr 2005

    Disabled woman set on fire as Paris riots spread ... 43,00.html

    Disabled woman set on fire as Paris riots spread

    · Passengers caught in blaze as youths ambush bus
    · New attacks thwart hopes that troubles may be over

    Jon Henley Paris
    Saturday November 5, 2005
    The Guardian

    A 56-year-old physically disabled woman was being treated in the burns unit of a Paris hospital yesterday after the bus she was travelling in was set alight by youths in the northern suburb of Sevran.

    The incident was the ugliest yet in the violence that has convulsed the suburbs of Paris during the past week. Last night, fresh attacks were reported in two dormitory towns outside the French capital where youths set fire to cars and two buildings.

    Article continues
    There were also signs of the violence spreading beyond Paris, with arson attacks reported earlier in the day in Rouen in northern France, Dijon in the east and Marseille in the south.

    Officials nonetheless expressed hope yesterday that the country's worst urban unrest in a decade could be on the wane. But on Thursday alone, more than 500 cars were torched in the Paris region, an increase on previous episodes.

    Police said the Sevran attack left the woman with 30% burns. The number 15 bus had just left the town's railway station at about 9.30pm when it was forced to a halt by burning rubbish bins strewn across the road. Two hooded youths forced open the front door, emptied jerry cans of petrol over the floor and on the front-seat passenger and the driver, then threw lighted rags inside.

    The driver, who helped the woman off the bus as other passengers escaped through a rear door, was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation. "We are treating this as attempted manslaughter," a police spokesman said.

    The prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, and the interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, pledged that order would soon be restored and the law respected.

    The rioting began last week when two teenagers of African origin were accidentally electrocuted while hiding from police in Clichy-sous-Bois, north of Paris. The violence is fuelled partly by resentment at France's discriminatory treatment of its north and black African communities, a far cry from the liberty, equality and fraternity of the country that likes to call itself the birthplace of human rights.

    But officials and social workers also acknowledge that as often as not it is also about youths simply "having a go" at the police - and particularly at the plain-speaking Mr Sarkozy, who refers to the troublemakers as yobs.

    "Some of them just come along for the fun," said Gerard Gaudron, mayor of one of the worst-hit towns, Aulnay sous Bois. "Instead of playing on their PlayStations they have a go at the riot police.

    "In a few days' time they'll return to normal life ... everyone has now had enough; parents have realised this has to stop. They are starting to keep kids at home."

    Police yesterday criticised Mr Sarkozy for his policies, which they said had contributed to the problem. In an earlier stint as interior minister, Mr Sarkozy slashed the number of officers on the beat, to beef up resources for investigation.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    It's just awful. Hopefully they'll get it under control in the next day or two.
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