Number of rioters arrested climbs to 4,700

25th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 24 (AFP) - The total number of people arrested for being involved in three weeks of rioting that seared France has climbed to more than 4,700, following the arrest of 1,540 people in the wake of the unrest, interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday.

PARIS, Nov 24 (AFP) - The total number of people arrested for being involved in three weeks of rioting that seared France has climbed to more than 4,700, following the arrest of 1,540 people in the wake of the unrest, interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday.

"Arrests didn't stop with the end of the riots," he told a gathering of mayors.

"Those who pillaged, those who behaved as delinquants have debts to pay to the courts in our country," he said.

Sarkozy did not say how many of those arrested remained in custody, nor how many would face criminal charges. The last figures from the national police service, the DGPN, showed that 650 have been jailed.

The violence, which raged nightly from October 27 to November 16, resulted in nearly 10,000 vehicles being torched and the country debating questions about the situation in the impoverished suburbs that ring many of its cities and towns.

Sarkozy, who was vilified by many of the youths taking part in the riots, maintained a hard line throughout the crisis, ordering vigorous police action and deporting some non-French citizens who participated.

The latter measure has generated controversy because of the high-immigrant nature of the suburbs involved. Though most of the youths taking part were French citizens, born in France, many have north and west African origins, and the DGPN said six to eight percent were not French nationals.

According to surveys, Sarkozy's tough approach has won the approval of the majority of French voters, who he is counting on to realise his ambition of replacing Jacques Chirac as president in the 2007 elections.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article