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Violence eases in Grenoble after weekend of rioting

French police say the situation has calmed down in the outskirts of Grenoble, where weekend riots saw dozens of cars torched and gunshots fired at security forces in scenes reminiscent of the unrest that swept across the country’s suburbs in 2005.

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Police deployed in a suburb of the French city of Grenoble to halt a wave of rioting said Monday the situation had calmed down overnight, though two gunshots were aimed at one of their vehicles.

“The night was calm, apart from two shots fired at a police vehicle,” a spokesperson for the police told AFP, adding that no cars had been set ablaze.

Early on Sunday, four men were arrested in the working class neighbourhood of La Villeneuve, in the south-eastern French city, for allegedly shooting at security forces.

In all, police have taken into custody 20 people over three days of violence during which youths torched some 80 cars as well as construction equipment and two shops.

The riots broke out after a 27-year-old man suspected of holding up a casino was shot dead by police late on Thursday during a car chase.

Police said the man had fired at them first, a claim backed by a preliminary judicial inquiry.

Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux visited the scene at the weekend and pledged to quickly restore order to La Villeneuve.

"There's no future for hoodlums and delinquents because in the end the public authority always wins," he said.

In October 2005, weeks of rioting broke out in neglected suburban districts across France, sparked by the death of two youths who were electrocuted when they entered an electricity installation as they ran away from police.

 

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