First casualty of French riots reported

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Monday, November 7, 2005

A car burns in Strasbourg, France on the night of November 5 as riots spread from the Paris banlieues to other parts of the country. Photo credit: François Schnell. (CC-BY 2.0)

Jean-Jacques Le Chenadec has been reported as the first casualty of recent rioting in France. The 61-year old man was beaten by a hooded rioter last week and had been in a coma since the attack.

The uprising was set off by the death of two teenagers who were allegedly chased by police and hid in an electric power station where they were electrocuted.

The French riots have further intensified over the past few days and are now said to have spread to nearly every city in the country.

The French prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, announced on Monday plans to allow the nation's regions to impose curfews. Mr. de Villepin appeared the day before on television with an appeal to end the violence.

The president, Jacques Chirac, ended his silence on the rioting on Saturday, when he spoke to the press. "Those who want to sow violence or fear will be caught, tried and punished," he said. "But we also understand very well that we must move towards respect for each individual, justice and equality of opportunity. We are all completely determined to go down this road and pursue the efforts that are already under way in this domain."

The Minister of the Interior, Nicolas Sarkozy, called for a radical overhaul of the French social model that he said, "in every aspect, needs to be fundamentally rebuilt." On the same day, various people [1] [2] discovered that UMP, the political party of Nicolas Sarkozy had bought the Google AdWords 'banlieue' (suburbs) to advertise their own website on google.fr.

Arrests in the rioting total nearly 1200 following the deaths of two youths on October 27. The unrest, which started in a Paris suburb, has spread to over 270 towns across France. More than 4300 cars have been torched across the country, and 2 schools were burned.

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