Sophie, our Atlas correspondent in France, sends us her exclusive eyewitness account of the latest punk jihad riots. "Looks like insurrection is back in the banlieue parisienne. The situation resembles fall-2005 riots a lot."
Apparently, rioting broke in one of Paris's tinder box suburban housing estates last night after two young boys were killed when their moped collided with a police car. The scenes are reminiscent of the disturbances in 2005 which led to two months of serious rioting across much of France
Molotov cocktails were thrown, and cars and plastic bins set on fire following the tragedy in Tolinette, a notoriously crime-ridden district of Villiers-le-Bel, some 20 miles north of the centre of the French capital.
One police station was set alight and another, in a neighbouring suburb, was ransacked after youths threw cocktails, and set bins alight and upturned cars.
Officials said seven police and one firefighter had were injured and there were fears the violence, which spread to the neighbouring town of Arnouville-les-Gonesse
French youths rioting again and again Sophie Fernandez Debellemanière
How can Paris survive in the middle of such a jungle that is constantly set on fire and sacked by its own inhabitants? This time the riots are taking place in Villiers-le-Bel, located in Northern Paris suburbs, at only 10 miles from Paris.
At 5 pm tonight, two youngsters from Villiers-le-Bel died in a collision between their mini-motorcycle and a police car. One hour later, 200 angry youths began setting on fire dozens of cars—among them two police cars, hundreds of trashes, one police station and two garages. And France Info just reported that they were on their way to the Elf gas station…
It is now 2.30 am and the riots are still going on. Thanks god, Villiers-le-Bel train station was closed, so that the insurrection cannot reach Paris and 20 anti-riots police buses were called to back normal police forces. By now, the human balance is relatively high for a mere traffic accident: seven policemen and one fireman were wounded. One police inspector got beaten in the face by a group of youths, while trying to reason the rioters. He was taken to the hospital.
The police said that the police car was not involved in a pursuit with the motorcycle and the victims of the accident were not wearing helmets. Nevertheless, this accident seems to be a perfect pretext for destruction, in Villiers-le-Bel, where 40% of the population is under 25. Today’s events are bizarrely similar to those who initiated in Clichy-sous-Bois the three-week riots that had spread all over the country in 2005: two immigrant youths got electrocuted in an electric central, while allegedly fleeing the police.
We would need a unanimous condemnation of this systematic violence burst. But unfortunately, many journalists and politicians will certainly adopt the same complaintive tone as the brother of one of the victims of the traffic accident Omar Sehhouli who declared: “This is not violence, but just anger that needs to be expressed”.
More rioting. More insanity.
The French Intifada never ended; it simply leveled off at a jaw-dropping 14 police officers injured per day (that's 5,100 annually) the last I saw it mentioned in any news source.
Today it is back in the news because "youths" on a stolen motorcycle died in a traffic accident involving a police car. So they burned a police station and ransacked another, among other things:
Dozens of youths clashed with police and set fire to buildings in a Paris suburb on Sunday after two teenagers were killed in a crash with a police car.
The pair were riding on a stolen motorcycle when the accident happened on Sunday in the town of Villiers-le- Bel, north of Paris, a police union source said.
"It was not a chase but apparently a traffic accident," a police source said.
The town’s police station caught fire and that of the neighbouring town, Arnouville-les-Gonesse, was ransacked, the local authority said. A Villiers garage was set ablaze and fires were put out before they could spread in a neighbouring garage and a petrol station in the same town.
Gangs of youths shot at police, according to one police union, as they torched some 30 cars and looted shops and buildings. Twenty-five police and one firefighter were injured, officials said. Calm was eventually restored just after midnight.
About 100 youths thronged the crash site on a high-rise housing estate, accusing police of fleeing the scene.
Speaking on a trip to Beijing, Sarkozy called for "all sides to calm down and for the judiciary to decide who bears responsibility".
A state prosecutor said she had ordered an internal police investigation for "involuntary manslaughter and failure to assist persons in danger" following the deaths of the two teenagers.
Police said the bike smashed into the side of their car during a routine patrol. Neither youth was wearing a helmet, according to witnesses.
Initial findings by the IGPN police investigatory body appeared to clear the officers of responsibility, according to a police source.
Statements from the officers and witnesses suggested the bike was moving "at very high speed" when it cut across the path of the police car, which was unable to avoid a collision, the source said.