French riots continue into second week

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Thursday, November 3, 2005

Uprisings in Paris suburbs have been raging for over one week now.

The uprising continued Thursday in the suburbs of Paris, where residents have set fire to buildings, cars, and buses and shot at police and firefighters. Reports indicate that at least nine people have been injured as a result of the violence.

Numerous uprisings have been reported in over 20 Paris suburbs, all of which are towns with large African immigrant populations, poor education, health, and infrastructure, and long histories of police brutality and deportations.

French President Jacques Chirac met with his administration on Wednesday to discuss the current situation. However, there has been no announcement regarding strategies to suppress the violence. The communities are calling on riot police to be withdrawn, since they are serving primarily to incite further confrontation.

The uprisings erupted when two teenagers, 15 and 17 years of age, died of electrocution in a power station where they were hiding to escape an ID check from police. A third is seriously injured.

The uprising gained force and spread across the country after riot police tear gassed the women's prayer room of a mosque on the holiest night of Ramadan, then called women "whores" as they emerged, choking.

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