French President Jacques Chirac said restoring security and public order was an "absolute priority" Sunday after urban violence intensified and spread across France - with arsonists striking from the Mediterranean to the German border and into central Paris for the first time.
Youths set ablaze nearly 1,300 vehicles and torched businesses, schools and symbols of French authority, including post offices and provincial police stations, on the tenth consecutive night of unrest. Chirac spoke after a security meeting of his top ministers.
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