Friday, 27 October 2006

French police put on high alert

French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered police to be on maximum alert in areas where outbreaks of violence could occur. Several buses have been torched in the run-up to the anniversary of last year's widespread rioting in suburban areas.

Mr Sarkozy said that all "sensitive" bus routes would be protected.
"We will do everything possible to ensure that public services are not disrupted anywhere," he said.

This time last year saw three weeks of violent clashes between youths of mainly North African origin and police in suburbs throughout France, when more than 10,000 cars were set alight and 300 buildings firebombed.

Thursday saw armed youths hijack and set fire to a bus in the suburbs of Paris, while hooded gangs torched two others on Wednesday night.