France: Youths attack police station

Other News Materials 26 November 2007 08:20 (UTC +04:00)

( AP ) - Dozens of youths pelted a police station in the northern Paris suburb of Sarcelles with Molotov cocktails Sunday following an accident involving a patrol car that left two teenage motorcyclists dead, police said.

Shots were fired at the officers in the station and a police captain was hospitalized with a serious injury to the face after he tried to negotiate with the mob, a police union official said. The youths also torched several cars and set garbage cans alight, officials said.

Reinforcements were called in to secure the police station.

The clash came hours after a motorcycle crashed into a patrol car in the nearby town of Villiers-le-Bel. The driver and passenger, aged 15 and 16, were both killed in the accident. Police officials said the two were riding a mini-motorcycle and that neither was wearing a helmet.

"We are sorry about the death of these young people, but it appears that they were unfortunately the victims of a traffic accident," said Francis Debuire, of the Force Ouvriere police union.

Rumors had circulated that officers in the patrol car were responsible for the crash.

In late 2005, the accidental deaths of two youths who were electrocuted as they hid from police sparked weeks of riots in the poor, immigrant-heavy suburbs that ring many French cities. Thousands of cars and many public buildings were torched during the unrest.