French Suburbs Rekindled

On Sunday, two teenagers in an immigrant suburb called Villiers-le-Bel, about twelve miles north of Paris’ center, collided with a police car and were killed. Claims that the accident was the result of police negligence — or perhaps hostility — circulated quickly. And, within a few hours, Paris’ suburbs were once again burning.

Although this new wave of violence in Paris’ mostly Arab and African suburban areas is not yet nearly as wide-spread and destructive as the nation-wide convulsions the country experienced two years ago, a new element has entered the picture: guns.

In France, it is legal to own a shotgun so long as you have a permit. Yesterday, dozens of shotguns were turned on police who appeared in the suburbs to quiet the rioting. Over 100 French policemen were injured by slugs and buckshot — no shots were fired in return.

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