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French Youths Riot Over Killing

December 14, 1998

TOULOUSE, France (AP) _ Rioting youths smashed a police station, burned cars and threw stones and Molotov cocktails at police in their efforts to avenge the shooting death of a friend hours earlier.

Six policemen were injured in Sunday’s clashes, which started in the early evening and continued for several hours, police said. The all-news television station LCI said that three of the policemen were hospitalized.

No youths were reported injured.

At least 150 police faced off with as many as 200 youths in suburban Toulouse’s Reynerie section, a working-class district with an unemployment rate of 35 percent. The angry youths threw stones and Molotov cocktails at security forces.

Police said that 11 cars and a schoolbus were burned by the rampaging youths and several stores ransacked in the melee.

The youths first broke into a small neighborhood police station, breaking windows and ransacking the inside, according to police.

The rampage was triggered by the shooting death of a youth killed early Sunday by a stray police bullet, according to police.

LCI said the 17-year-old was shot when police tried to arrest the suspect for alleged car theft.

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