France’s New Year car-burning ritual recedes

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SHAFAQNA – The French government on Thursday reported a 12-percent drop in the number of cars torched on New Year’s Eve – a ritual among revellers in the country’s high-rise suburbs. The number of vehicles set alight on the night of December 31 fell from 1,067 a year ago to 940, the interior ministry said in a statement.

This year also saw fewer arrests for disturbances on New Year’s Eve, falling from 322 in 2013 to 308.

The ministry credited the “substantial, active and dissuasive mobilisation of the security forces” with keeping the seasonal crime wave in check.

France’s Socialist government increased security during the holiday period following three violent street attacks in the run-up to Christmas, in which one person was killed and over 20 injured.

In two of the attacks, the assailants shouted the Islamic phrase “Allahu Akbar” (God is greater).

Over 90,000 police, gendarmes, soldiers and emergency service workers were deployed to protect the public on December 31.

Source : AFP.com

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