French riot update from Reuters, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
AULNAY-SOUS-BOIS, France (Reuters) – Rioters set fire to hundreds of vehicles in impoverished suburbs of northeastern Paris in an eighth night of unrest that spread for the first time to other parts of the capital and towns in France.
Local officials said they had lost patience with the government. Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and his rival, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, opted for low profiles after days of squabbling over how to handle the crisis.
Police reported fewer clashes than previous nights and residents said the Eid al-Fitr holiday ending Ramadan may have calmed areas with many Muslims of North African and black African origin who feel treated as second-class citizens.
But the rioting spread, with some attacks reported in western Paris suburbs — including the spectacular burning of 23 buses at a depot — and a few cars firebombed around Rouen in northern France, Dijon in the east and Marseille in the south.
The pattern of violence also changed, shifting from crowds clashing with police to targeted arson attacks, many against businesses and warehouses….
Justice Minister Pascal Clement was visibly shaken after being briefed about a handicapped woman in her 50s who was badly burned on Wednesday evening when rioters poured petrol on a city bus she was riding in and set it ablaze….
In several interviews on Friday morning, conservative politicians said drug traffickers and Islamist militants were fanning the unrest, although they gave no details.