France makes first arrests following Amiens riots
French police have arrested five people in connection with riots earlier this week in the northern city of Amiens.
Riots broke out on Monday causing up to six million euros worth of damage to public buildings and left 16 police injured.
The five people are being detained on suspicion of public order offences. Two of those arrested are minors.
Thermal images taken from a helipcopter during the riots helped police identify the suspects. Arrests were not made Monday or Tuesday for fear of further inflaming an already tense situation.
Interior Minister, Manuel Valls, vowed to bring to justice those who were responsible for torching a school and sports centre, and for firing bullets at police.
"The investigation is on-going" said a police spokesperson, adding "these are only the first arrests".
One of the five arrested is a suspected ring leader of the rioters and has been charged with incitement to rebellion, a serious crime under French law punishable by a prison term up to 10 years if the perpetrator was armed at the time the riot.
Residents of Amiens say this week's eruption of violence came after years of police harassment of youth in a neighbourhood where two out of three people are under 25 and out of work.
Police argue against this, insisting that they are fighting a losing battle against a culture of criminality.
The neighbourhood has remained calm since early Tuesday with a police force of 250 officers in circulation, along with 100 riot police armed with water cannons. The increased police presence is expected to remain at least until the weekend.