Rioting rocks French city of Amiens
A riot in the town Amiens has left 16 police officers injured, a primary school severely damaged by fire and a sports centre completely destroyed, local officials said Tuesday. The Interior Minister, Manuel Valls has condemned the actions of the rioters
Clashes involving around 100 local youths and up to 150 police erupted in the northern French city late on Monday.
Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to quell the unrest after suffering injuries caused by buckshot, fireworks and other projectiles thrown by rioters.
Speaking to RFI from the south of France, the Interior Minister, Manuel Valls condemned the violence, "the nature of this violence is unacceptable. The rule of law must be re-established, and the state must impose itself so these acts are not repeated."
The violence followed lower-scale clashes 24 hours earlier which were triggered by the arrest of a man for dangerous driving.
The arrest was seen as insensitive as it came as many residents of the neighbourhood were attending a wake for a local 20-year-old who had died in a motorbike accident.
Gilles Demailly, the Socialist mayor of Amiens, said he had encountered a "scene of desolation" in the northern quarter of a city that is well known for its university and its 13th century Gothic cathedral.
"There have been regular incidents here but it has been years since we've known a night as violent as this with so much damage done," arrested Demailly.