Sarkozy vows tough line against rioters

French President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged on Wednesday to punish rioters who shot at police but sought to ease tensions with an independent probe into the deaths of two youths that triggered the unrest.

Sarkozy vows tough line against rioters
Youths in Paris suburbs and southwestern Toulouse torched several cars and rubbish bins in the third night of tension, but a heavy police clampdown in the Paris area saw a sharp drop in violence from the two previous nights.

Officials reported no major clashes between youths and police.

Moments after arriving back in France from China, Sarkozy sped off to a hospital in the Eaubonne suburb of Paris where a senior police officer, attacked at the start of the violence on Sunday, was being treated for serious injuries.

Sarkozy, a law-and-order hardliner when interior minister during riots two years ago, praised the officer's courage and said nothing could justify such violence.

"Those who take it upon themselves to shoot at police will find themselves in the Assizes Court" which handles serious cases, he told reporters later.

Shooting at police "has a name -- attempted murder."

"We will find the shooters. We will put in the necessary resources ... It is not something that we can tolerate, no matter how dramatic the deaths of these two youngsters on a motorbike may be," he added.

The violence has revived memories of the riots in 2005, the worst unrest in France in 40 years, when thousands of cars were torched after two teenagers were electrocuted in a power sub-station after apparently fleeing police.

The new wave of violence erupted on Sunday when two teenagers were killed in a collision with a police car.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Kasım 2007, 11:38
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