photo taken from Le Chat Noir Emeutier

“Violent clashes between youths and riot police in the northern French city of Amiens have left 16 officers injured and several public buildings torched in some of the worst rioting in the area for years – reopening the fraught political debate about France’s troubled housing estates.

Rioting broke out on deprived estates in the north of the city at 9pm on Monday and raged until 4am. Around 100 youths set fire to cars, a nursery school and a youth centre as well as firing buckshot and projectiles at police officers, who saturated the streets with teargas as reinforcements arrived from neighbouring areas.

“The confrontations were very, very violent,” the mayor of Amiens, Gilles Dumailly, told French television network BFM, describing “a scene of devastation”.

There had been unrest among youths on housing estates in Amiens-Nord earlier this month and again on Sunday night, apparently sparked by tensions over spot checks by police on residents.

French media reported that violence broke out between local residents and the police following a check on a driver said to be driving dangerously, near to the spot where the family and friends of a 20-year-old who died in a motorbike crash on Thursday had gathered for a memorial ceremony.”

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