PARIS (AP) – Ten nights of urban unrest that brought thousands of arson attacks on cars, nursery schools and other targets from the Mediterranean to the German border reached Paris where at least 28 cars were burned overnight in the French capital, government officials said yesterday.

Some 2,300 police poured into the Paris region to bolster security on a restive Saturday night while firefighters moved out around the city to douse blazing vehicles.

At least 918 vehicles – including those in Paris – were burned during the 10th night of violence, said the Interior Ministry’s operational center tracking the violence. There was no word yet on damage in Paris to shops, gymnasiums, nursery schools and other targets which have been attacked around the country.

Police made 186 arrests nationwide overnight.

For the second night in a row, a helicopter equipped with spotlights and video cameras to track bands of marauding youths combed the poor, heavily immigrant Seine-Saint-Denis region, northeast of Paris, where the violence has been concentrated. Small teams of police were deployed to chase down rioters speeding from one attack to another in cars and on motorbikes.

On Friday night, 900 vehicles were torched across France in the worst wave of arson since the urban unrest began.

The violence – originally concentrated in neighborhoods northeast of Paris with large populations of Arab and African Muslim immigrants – has now spread across France, extending west to the rolling fields of Normandy and south to resort cities on the Mediterranean.

The Normandy town of Evreux, 60 miles west of Paris, appeared to suffer the worst damage Saturday. Arsonists burned at least 50 vehicles, part of a shopping center, a post office and two schools, said Patrick Hamon, spokesman for the national police. Five police officers and three firefighters were injured battling the Evreux blazes, Hamon said.


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