French fire fighters tackle a burning car in Aulnay-sous-Bois, a north Paris suburb duirng the ninth night of rioting on Friday 05 November 2005. French police have arrested more than 200 people following fresh riots in and around Paris and other parts of France. More than 750 cars were burnt on the ninth consecutive night of unrest in immigrant-dominated areas near Paris, despite a heavy police presence.
Paris - 'We burned 15 cars. How many do you have?' A grim contest is under way in France as kids from disadvantaged suburbs vie with each other to see who can riot the hardest.
On Internet websites, young arsonists brag about their successes. Rioting, it seems, has become a trend sport, as youths in immigrant areas of provincial cities begin to rally to the call from Paris.
While political slogans hold no sway among these youngsters, hatred for Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy is palpable. 'Now we're the ones chasing you with the Karcher (high-pressure hoses),' they say, referring to Sarkozy's pledge to clean the suburbs of 'scum'.
What began as pitched battles has transformed into a nightly game of cat-and-mouse with the police.
Two or three people set out armed with mobile phones, crowbars and incendiary material. A quick hit with the crowbar on the windscreen of a police van, a Molotov cocktail inside - and they're off back into the sprawling housing estates.
The rioters have also started using motorbikes and mobile phones to trace the movements of police riot squads, in tactics reminiscent of urban guerrilla movements.
'Each night we turn this place into Baghdad', says one masked youth in Sevran near Paris. As a political statement, there have been better - but these riots seem to be more aimed at the television cameras than the National Assembly.
'It would be better to go into Paris than break up everything here,' his friend says, appearing to consider that the victims of the rioting are predominantly their own neighbours and friends.
'Why did they set my car on fire, why mine?' asks one young man as he watches it go up in flames. He knows the perpetrators, he says. They're neighbours of his, but he refuses to name them.
'These are our kids,' says Mohammed Rezzoug, vice president of Blanc-Mesnil football club.
Every night, Rezzoug is out on the streets talking to local youths in a bid to prevent his own sports hall going up in smoke. 'They answer me: 'Momo, we'll [bad word] them all',' he says.
Lurking behind the lines of burning cars is the knowledge that these riots could soon become a matter of life and death.
On Wednesday night, a disabled woman in Sevran barely escaped death in a burning bus.
Youths barricaded the road with burning tyres and threw fuel into the bus. All the other passengers fled, but the 56-year-old, unable to move, was sprayed with petrol and then a burning rag was thrown inside.
The woman survived the attack with second and third-degree burns on one-fifth of her body, after the bus driver managed to pull her to safety.
How have I missed this, its in its 10th night. :shock:
One paper says its a muslim outcry at discrimination in job sector an stuff, but its defo a response to summat to have lasted this long.