November 27, 2007
2nd Night of Rioting in Paris
Paris police were out in force on Monday night, attempting to tamp down a second night of violence set off by the deaths of two youngsters whose moped struck a police cruiser:
Dozens of youths clashed with the police for the second night in a row in a working- and lower-class suburb north of Paris on Monday, throwing stones, glass and firebombs against large contingents of heavily armed riot police officers and moving nimbly from target to target on several fronts, burning cars and a garbage truck.Police intelligence evidently picked up some gossip that there would be further unrest so they sent the riot police out to quell the disturbances. Unfortunately, the mob - which seemed pretty well organized for a bunch of people responding emotionally to a tragedy - virtually surrounded the gendarmes, pelting them with projectiles while setting around 15 cars on fire.
President Nicolas Sarkozy, in China on an official visit, appealed for calm.
The clashes began when two teenagers traveling on a motorbike died in a collision with a police car on Sunday afternoon in the town of Villiers-le-Bel, about 12 miles north of Paris, in the Val d’Oise department. The two teenagers were identified in the French news media merely as 15-year-old Moushin and 16-year-old Larami, who were riding a motorbike in Villiers-le-Bel.
On Monday night, more than 100 youths had pushed riot police officers into the middle of a four-way intersection, raining projectiles on them from at least two directions. Police officers responded with tear gas and paint guns to mark the attackers for future arrest.
Broken glass and used tear-gas canisters littered the roads. At least one police officer was wounded. Within sight of the intersection, a garbage truck was on fire, apparently unattended as youths lined up behind it.
The mob also attacked some public buildings, including the library.
The violence has spread to some other districts but does not appear as widespread or as serious as the riots that took place two years ago following the electrocution deaths of two youths on the run from police. And it appears that this time, there will be no coddling the mob. Having the riot police out in force shows that Sarkozy means business.
And so do the rioters. Gateway Pundit blogs the riots and reports that some of the rioters were using shotguns and throwing Molotov Cocktails. This is an updated AP report on the night's violence:
Rampaging youths rioted overnight in Paris' suburbs, hurling Molotov cocktails and setting fire to dozens of cars. At least 77 officers were injured and officers were fired at, a senior police union official said Tuesday. The violence was more intense than during three weeks of rioting in 2005, said the official, Patrice Ribeiro.AP also reports that dozens of cars were torched during the riot.
Police were shot at and are facing "genuine urban guerillas with conventional weapons and hunting weapons," Ribeiro said. Some officers were hit by shotgun pellets, Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said. She said there were six serious injuries, "people who notably were struck in the face and close to the eyes."
Sounds like a war zone...