Eight youths arrested for assault on policemen

19th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 19, 2006 (AFP) - French police on Thursday arrested eight youths in a tough Paris suburb over the ambush last week of three police officers, one of whom suffered serious facial injuries.

PARIS, Oct 19, 2006 (AFP) - French police on Thursday arrested eight youths in a tough Paris suburb over the ambush last week of three police officers, one of whom suffered serious facial injuries.

The suspects, aged 17 to 21, identified by their fingerprints, were taken into custody and face possible charges of attempted murder with premeditation over the attack in the southern 'banlieue' of Epinay-sur-Seine, police said.

Friday's incident, in which a police patrol car was set upon by around 30 youths with stones and metal bars, was the third in as many weeks in the Paris area, prompting a chorus of alarm from police unions.

Serious clashes have also occurred at the Les Tartarets estate in Corbeil-Essonnes and at Les Mureaux, in the western Paris outskirts — sparking high profile police raids to root out the suspects.

The pre-dawn operation in Epinay, carried out by plain-clothes officers, was lower key than the previous operations, which critics accused of dangerously fuelling tensions with the local population.

Reporters, though they received notice of the operation, were held at bay as officers carried out the arrests at the suspects' homes.

Almost a year after France's suburban riots, sparked on October 27 last year, police have warned the latest attacks could herald a new upsurge of violence in the country's high-immigration, out-of-city estates.

Thousands of cars and hundreds of buildings were torched last year in three weeks of nightly confrontations.

With presidential elections due in April, the resurgence of tensions in the 'banlieues' has major political implications — raising questions over the tactics of Interior Minister and presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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