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Toulouse Bus Drivers Go On Strike

December 14, 1998

TOULOUSE, France (AP) _ Bus drivers in Toulouse went on strike today after youths burned one of their buses during a night of rioting to avenge the shooting death of one of their friends.

The buses drivers justified their walkout by saying it wasn’t safe to work. Striking drivers also picketed the local bus depot in Toulouse, a city of 350,000 in south-central France.

The strikers also said the driver of the bus that was set on fire was attacked by rioters. However, management said the driver was stuck by glass after the windshield was shattered by a baseball bat.

Youths in Toulouse rioted Sunday to avenge the shooting death of a colleague who was killed earlier in the morning by a stray police bullet.

At least 150 police faced off up to 200 youths in a working class district with an unemployment rate of 35 percent. The angry youths threw stones and Molotov cocktails at security forces.

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

Six policemen were injured. No youths were reported hurt.

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