Left: Burning police car in Montfermeil; photo courtesy of BBC
(Paris) Several hundred youths clashed with police Tuesday night after setting fire to cars, trash bins, and brush piles in a Paris suburb that was the scene of violent riots last year.
At least four police officers were injured in the violence, and as many as 18 youths were arrested. The rioting took place in the suburbs of Montfermeil and Clichy-sous-Bois.
Interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy reiterated that the government will not tolerate further trouble.
"I will not allow more disorderliness neither in Clichy-sous-Bois, nor in Montfermeil, nor anywhere else in the Republic," he said.
The violence appears to be a response of discontent against the mayor of Montfermeil, who imposed a curfew forbidding youths from 15 to 18 years of age from gathering in groups of more than three and requiring anyone under 16 to be accompanied by an adult on city streets after 8 pm.
The November riots, in which immigrant groups were among the majority of protesters, revolved around anger at racial discrimination, police harassment, and a lack of educational and employment prospects. French officials remain optimistic that a repeat of the widespread violence will not recur.
In all more than 10,000 vehicles and 200 public buildings were set on fire, 127 police officers were injured, and 4,500 people arrested; damage was estimated at $250 million by insurers.