How's that Muslim population workin for ya France?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by sitarro, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. sitarro

    sitarro Gold Member Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Fourth night of riots in Paris

    Monday, October 31, 2005 Posted: 1407 GMT (2207 HKT)

    A police union spokesman says a Paris suburb is seeing "civil war."
    Nicolas Sarkozy

    BOBIGNY, France (Reuters) -- Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday defended his tough crime policies against claims they helped increase tension after a fourth night of rioting in a Paris suburb in which tear gas was fired into a mosque.

    It was not clear who had fired the tear gas and Sarkozy, addressing police officers, vowed to find out what had happened.

    Youths hurled rocks and set fire to cars in the northeastern Clichy-sous-Bois suburb of the French capital, where many immigrants and poor families live in high-rise housing estates notorious for youth violence.

    French television said six police officers were hurt and 11 people arrested in violence partly fueled by the incident at the mosque.

    "I am, of course, available to the Imam of the Clichy mosque to let him have all the details in order to understand how and why a tear gas bomb was sent into this mosque," Sarkozy told about 170 police officers at the Seine-Saint-Denis prefecture in Bobigny, the local authority which oversees Clichy-sous-Bois.

    He also met the president of the Muslim community for the Clichy area.

    The violence began four days ago among residents of Clichy-sous-Bois over the deaths of two teenagers believed to be of African origin who were electrocuted while fleeing police.

    Sixteen people were injured in violence on Friday and hundreds of residents marched on Saturday to appeal for calm and pay their respects to the dead teenagers.

    It was the latest in a series of incidents in the northeastern suburbs that have attracted the attention of Sarkozy -- a presidential hopeful -- and become the target of his vow to get tough on crime.

    In June, an 11-year-old boy was killed by a stray bullet in the northern area of La Courneuve. The eastern suburb of Vitry-sur-Seine made headlines in 2002 when a 17-year-old girl was set alight by an 18-year-old boy.

    Sarkozy launched a new crime offensive this month, ordering specially trained police to tackle 25 neighborhoods in cities throughout France.

    On Monday, he told police officers they had the support of the French people and promised to provide extra manpower.

    "For 30 years the situation has been getting worse in a number of neighborhoods. It's not a story that's three days, three weeks or three months old," Sarkozy said.

    Sarkozy, whose law and order policies have been criticized by human rights groups, made his name by cutting crime figures during his first stint as interior minister from 2002 to 2004.

    The popular minister returned to the job in May and has continued to be outspoken, provoking criticism from opposition politicians who say he has made things worse.

    Laurent Fabius, a former Socialist prime minister and also a potential presidential candidate in 2007, said the Clichy violence marked a failure for Sarkozy and mocked his frequent visits to such areas.

    "When he announces that he's going to visit such and such a commune or suburb every week, that's not how we resolve those problems," Fabius said on Europe 1 radio.

    "We need to act at the same time on prevention, repression, education, housing, jobs ... and not play the cowboy."

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