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16 French police wounded in overnight clashes with youths


08:38, August 15, 2012

PARIS, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Sixteen police were injured during violent clashes with youths overnight in Amiens, a city in northern France, local media reported on Tuesday.

About 100 youths shot at the police, torched up to 20 cars, a leisure center and a nursery school, the news channel BFMTV reported. The violence was sparked by tension over spot police checks on residents, according to BFMTV.

The wounded police were injured by buckshot, mortar and throwing projectiles and damages amounted to over 1 million euros (1.23 million U.S. dollars), it added.

Police reinforcements were being dispatched and Interior Minister Manuel Valls was due to visit the Amiens suburb, which has already been identified as needing extra policing by the government.

French President Francois Hollande pledged "to mobilize all the resources to fight against the violence" and promised higher funds to improve security mainly in the country's poor cities.

France was plunged into its worst urban unrest in 2005 when a riot was triggered by the accidental electrocution of two teenagers who thought police were chasing them, forcing the then center-right government to impose a state of emergency.

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