Violence has flared again in several French cities, despite the imposition of night-time curfews aimed at curbing the looting, burning and other destruction that has taken place for nearly two weeks. Rampaging youths burned more than 600 vehicles across the country overnight, fewer than the night before. Police say 204 people were arrested in the latest violence, which has been carried out mainly by Muslim youths of North African descent.
Several towns have imposed overnight curfews. One town, Amiens, also has banned the sale of gasoline to teenagers in an apparent bid to halt the setting of fires. In the southern city of Lyon, officials were forced to shut down the entire subway system after a firebomb exploded in one station late Tuesday. No injuries were reported.
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin Wednesday declared a state of emergency that covers most of France's major cities and towns. On Tuesday, he announced a number of measures to address what many French say are the main causes of the riots - youth unemployment, poor schools and discrimination.