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Paris Riots

Oct. 19, 2005: Nicolas Sarkozy, France's interior minister, declares a "war without mercy" on violence in Parisian suburbs.

Oct. 25, 2005: While visiting the Paris suburb of Argenteuil to speak about eliminating crime in that neighborhood, Sarkozy is pelted with stones and bottles.

Oct. 27, 2005: Two teenagers, aged 15 and 17, are electrocuted in the suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois after running from a checkpoint and allegedly being chased by police. A third youth receives serious burns but survives. Blaming the deaths on the police, riots begin. After local youths hear of the deaths, they begin rioting. 23 cars are burned and several buildings vandalized. Riot police are deployed and pelted with stones and bottles.

Oct. 28, 2005: In Clichy-sous-Bois, four hundred youths hurl Molotov cocktails, stones, injuring 23 police. Police respond by firing rubber bullets into the crowd. On this day 29 cars are set on fire and 13 people detained.

Oct. 29, 2005: During the day, 500 people in Clichy-sous-Bois hold a silent march in honor of the two teenagers who were electrocuted. That night, the riots resume. 20 cars are set on fire and 9 people are detained by police.

Oct. 30, 2005: In Clichy-sous-Bois, six police officers are injured, 8 vehicles are set on fire, and 11 people are arrested. A mosque is hit with a teargas grenade, incensing the Muslim community in the suburb and fueling the riots. French officials do not acknowledge that police fired the grenade, saying it could have been anyone.

Oct. 31, 2005: Sarkozy vows to stop the riots. He asks to meet with the families of the electrocuted teens, but they refuse. The brother of one of the victims, Siyakah Traore, says calls Sarkozy "very, very incompetent. He asks to speak to Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin instead. On this day 68 cars are set on fire and 19 people are arrested.

Nov. 1, 2005: Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin meets with the families of the dead teenagers. On this day, 180 cars are set on fire and 34 people are arrested.

Nov. 2, 2005: A spokesperson for President Chirac says: "Tempers must calm down. The law must be applied in a spirit of dialogue and respect. A lack of dialogue and an escalation of disrespectful behaviour would lead to a dangerous situation. Zones without law cannot exist in the republic." On this day, the riots spread to 22 suburbs surrounding Paris. In the suburb of Sevran, youths stop a bus. All of the passengers are able to escape except one: a 56-year-old handicapped woman. A youth pours gasoline on her and sets her on fire, causing her third degree burns to 20% of her body. He then throws a Molotov cocktail onto the bus.

Nov. 3, 2005: The rioting spreads to other French cities, including Rouen, Bordeaux, Marseille, and Strasbourg.

Nov. 4, 2005: French officials open a criminal investigation into the deaths of the two teenagers. Prime Minister Villepin

Nov. 5, 2005: 1,295 cars are burned throughout France. 349 people are arrested.

Nov. 6, 2005: President Chirac addresses the public about the riots for the first time. Speaking from the steps of the Elysee Palace after an emergency meeting of the national security council, he says that an "absolute priority is to reestablish security and public order ... The law should have the final say, and the republic is determined to be stronger than those who want to spread violence and fear. Those people will be apprehended, judged and punished."

Nov. 7, 2005: Overnight between the 6th and the 7th, the violence spreads into Paris' 17th arrondissement, with six cars being set on fire in the area that stretches from Montmartre in the west to the Arc de Triomphe.

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Latest news on the Paris riots:
Rage of French Youth Is a Fight for Recognition
Chirac Speaks Out on Rioting