At least 100 youths, many brandishing baseball bats, clashed with police in a new outbreak of violence in the same Parisian suburbs in which nationwide rioting started last autumn.
The disturbances, which were described as “violent and intense” and left several policemen injured, extended from late on Monday night into the early hours yesterday.
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets after coming under attack, while Xavier Lemoine, the centre-Right mayor of Montfermeil, one of two affected suburbs, was left fearing for the lives of his wife and seven children after a stone-throwing mob gathered outside his home.
The disorder was a worrying reminder of last year’s violence. France is anxious to avoid a long, hot and troubled summer on run-down estates populated by families of African and Arab origin who feel alienated from society.
And they feel alienated from society by the express design of their own leaders.