French police make first arrests after Amiens riots

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 16, 2012 2:43 AM
French police make first arrests after Amiens riots

PARIS (Reuters) - French police arrested at least four people after riots this week in the northern town of Amiens in which 17 officers were injured, the first people they have detained so far, local authorities said on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the local prefect's office said four people aged between 15 and 30 were detained in an overnight swoop in connection with arson, robbery and trafficking stolen goods.

Thomas Lavielle, an official at the prefect's office, earlier told BFM TV that five youths had been arrested in an operation in the north of the city.

A massive police presence restored calm to Amiens on Wednesday after two days of disturbances in which youths burned cars, a sports centre and a nursery school.

The unrest underscored the challenges facing Socialist President Francois Hollande, whose bitter attacks on the domestic security policy of his conservative predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy help him win power in May.

(Reporting by Fanny Bertrand and Brian Love; Writing by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Jon Hemming)