Outrage after two police ambushed in suburb

20th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

EVRY, France, Sept 20, 2006 (AFP) - Police unions reacted with outrage Wednesday after two members of a CRS anti-riot unit were badly hurt in an ambush by youths in the southern Paris suburb of Corbeil-Essonnes.

EVRY, France, Sept 20, 2006 (AFP) - Police unions reacted with outrage Wednesday after two members of a CRS anti-riot unit were badly hurt in an ambush by youths in the southern Paris suburb of Corbeil-Essonnes.

The men were patrolling Tuesday night in an unmarked car in the Les Tartarets housing project when the vehicle was attacked with stones, a police spokesman said.

When one of the officers left the vehicle, he was set upon by about 20 youths who had been hiding in the undergrowth.

"The driver rushed to help. The two were then covered in blows to the face and other parts of the body as they lay on the ground," the spokesman said. The gang dispersed when reinforcements arrived.

Both officers suffered injuries to the face and head, as well as bruising to the body. One was hospitalised.

The Synergie-Officier police union said it was "revolted by this savage attack .... These explosions of violence against the police are a kind of guerrilla warfare aimed at getting the forces of law and order to leave certain areas in order to immerse them in a logic of sedition and terror."

The UNSA union said the officers were "victims of a genuine ambush by individuals whose sole aim was to attack the forces of law and order."

Opposition parties said the attack was a sign that the security policies of Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, a likely presidential candidate in next year's election, have failed.

It followed a stark warning about the risk of a new outbreak of suburban rioting in a letter published Tuesday from the prefect or state-appointed governor of the Seine-Saint-Denis department, centre of last year's disturbances.

Jean-Francois Cordet told Sarkozy in a letter sent in June that tensions were continuing to rise in the northern Paris suburbs -- with rising crime, a court system that was failing to punish, and the active incitement of Islamic radicals.

In a statement Wednesday the Socialist party (PS) said that the attack on the two policemen "showed that the alarming comments made by the prefect of Seine-Saint-Denis apply to many other suburbs as well."

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said that the government will "draw lessons from what has happened in order to devise appropriate responses ... to the risks to which part of our forces of law and order are exposed."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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