Paris suburbs hit by riots for seventh night

Rampaging youths torch a car dealership, a supermarket and a local gymnasium.

paris riots 88 (photo credit: )
paris riots 88
(photo credit: )
Youths battled with police in Paris' troubled suburbs for a seventh straight night, setting fire to a car dealership and hurling stones at police in at least 10 towns, officials said Thursday. The unrest took on new momentum in the tough northeastern suburb Aulnay-sous-Bois, where rampaging youths torched a Renault car dealership and incinerated at least a dozen cars. A supermarket and local gymnasium were also torched. In nearby La Courneuve, police said two live bullets were fired at them, France-Info reported. No officers were injured. Unrest spilled over to public housing projects in the area, where police engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with youths, who would break car windows and toss explosives inside before running away. The unrest was triggered by the accidental deaths of two teenagers last week in Clichy-sous-Bois. The teens were electrocuted while hiding in a power substation because they believed police were chasing them. The firing of a police tear gas grenade against a mosque in Clichy-sous-Bois during clashes late Sunday also sparked rage in the suburb's large Muslim community. Since then, tensions and unrest have spread through other suburbs in the Seine-Saint-Denis region north of Paris, exposing the anger in France's poor suburbs that are heavily populated by North African Muslim immigrants and marked by soaring unemployment. The unrest has also renewed debate about France's failure to fully integrate its millions of immigrants, many of whom are trapped in the poverty and grinding unemployment of low-cost, sometimes decrepit, suburban housing estates where gangs dealing drugs and stolen goods - not police - are sometimes in control.