Amiens: Riots break out in northern French city


A picture taken on August 14, 20102 shows a burnt car in Amiens, northern France. A riot in a deprived area of Amiens has left 16 police officers injured, a primary school severely damaged by fire and a sports centre completely destroyed.



French President Francois Hollande has vowed to crack down on the perpetrators of a riot that broke out last night in the northern French city of Amiens. 

According to the BBC, an estimated 100 youths took part in the riot last night. The riot was reportedly triggered after police arrested a man for dangerous driving near the spot where people were memorializing a 20 year old who died in a motorbike crash on Thursday.

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Sixteen police officers were injured as rioters reportedly threw fireworks and projectiles, according to police reports. The rioters also reportedly set fire to a nearby nursery school and torched several cars.

Gilles Dumailly, the mayor of Amiens, told French television network BFM, "The confrontations were very, very violent." Additionally, Dumailly told the AFP, "There have been regular incidents here but it has been years since we've known a night as violent as this with so much damage done."

According to the Guardian, Amiens was recently included in a list of the government's new "priority security zones," which will get a reinforced police presence.

In a statement following the riots, Hollande said: "Public security is not just a priority but an obligation. We owe it to the population, we owe it to the security forces," according to the Associated Press.  Hollande also added that he will send his interior minister, Manuel Valls, to Amiens to "say once again that the state will mobilize all its resources to combat this violence. Our priority is security, which means that the next budget will include additional resources for the gendarmerie and the police."

The riots are expected to cost the city of Amiens an estimated $1.2 million. 

Amiens was also hit during France's riots of 2005.