A massive police presence restored calm overnight on Wednesday to the French city of Amiens, where arson and gun attacks on police have added law and order to the deep economic problems President Francois Hollande must confront.
The Socialist leader pledged to do all in his power to stamp out unrest two straight days of disturbances in which after 17 police were injured, some by shotgun pellets.
An extra 100 officers were sent to the Fafet district in northern Amiens late on Tuesday, bringing to 250 the number of police patrolling there versus the usual 30, officials said.
“The night in the northern district of Amiens was very, very calm. There were incidents in other parts of Amiens and seven cars were burned but this is sadly something that is a regular occurrence in the city,” a police spokesman said.
Residents have split over the violence, some blaming heavy-handed policing for rioting in which a brand new gym and a nursery school were torched, and drivers were dragged from their cars before the vehicles were set alight.
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