Over 300 Cars Torched
France's national holiday, Bastille Day, has been overshadowed by a night of rioting in which more than 300 cars were torched on the streets of Paris and other cities.
Attempts by the French government to clamp down on Bastille Day rioting were not enough to prevent at least 317 cars being torched in major French cities in the early hours of July 14.
Despite a deployment of 10,000 police officers, the number of cars set alight represents a rise of almost seven percent from the previous year. Youths threw home-made explosives and fireworks to set alight bins and cars, before targeting police officers, 13 of whom were wounded in the riots. A total of 240 arrests were made -- almost double the number recorded in 2008.
It had been hoped that new legislation to allow harsher punishments would deter rioters this year. Now perpetrators can face up to three years in prison and fines of up to €45,000 for their involvement in the arson attacks.