Source Pravda.Ru

French rioting appears to abate

Violence across France appeared to abate Thursday in the first 24 hours of emergency measures aimed at stopping the country's worst civil unrest in decades. Some cities, including the Riviera resorts of Cannes and Nice, imposed curfews on minors.

The government toughened its stance Wednesday against rioters, with Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy saying local authorities have been told to deport foreigners convicted for involvement.

The violence started Oct. 27 among youths in the northeastern Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis angry over the accidental deaths of two teenagers, but grew into a nationwide insurrection of arson and clashes with police.

Arson attacks continued overnight Wednesday-Thursday in some places as the violence stretched into a 14th night. However, the number of attacks continued to fall.

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

Vandalism at two power stations caused blackouts in parts of Lyon, France's second largest city.

Car burnings continued for a fifth night across Belgium as well, with 15 vehicles torched, but the government stressed that attacks were isolated and could not be compared to widespread rioting across the border in France.

A 12-day state of emergency went into effect Wednesday. For much of France - including the city of Paris - it had no perceptible effect.

As a result in Nice, Cannes and 19 other towns in the Riviera region known as Alpes-Maritimes, including the resort of Antibes, minors were forbidden from being outdoors between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m without adult supervision.

Sarkozy, who previously inflamed passions by referring to suburban troublemakers as "scum," said 120 foreigners have been convicted in connection with the violence. He ordered local authorities to expel all of them, the AP reports.

Photo: Reuters

V.Y.

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