Monday, October 30, 2006

France: "Youths" set bus on fire burning a woman.

France: Better than usual description from the AP, but the disenchantment mantra is at the end of the story as required.

MARSEILLE, France -- France's interior minister sent riot police to patrol the southern port city of Marseille on Sunday after a group of marauding teenagers torched a bus, gravely burning a young woman. French police braced for violence this weekend, the anniversary of last year's riots in poor neighborhoods where immigrants from former French colonies in Africa live with their French-born children on the fringes of society. On Saturday, 46 people were taken into custody, most of them in the communities around Paris, and two police officers were slightly injured. The most serious violence was the brutal bus attack in Marseille. A group of young people burst onto the bus and tossed in a bottle of flammable liquid before fleeing, police said, citing witnesses' accounts. The resulting fire injured a 26-year-old woman, who suffered second- and third-degree burns on her arms, legs and face and was in a medically induced coma on Sunday. President Jacques Chirac telephoned the woman's family, ensuring them that France would "do everything to find the assailants and punish them with the greatest severity," his office said. Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin called a meeting for Monday on public transport safety, while Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy's office said he was sending two extra companies of riot police to Marseille. Bus drivers in Marseille refused to return to work.

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