297 cars were burned in France the night of July 13/14, an increase from the 266 that were burned this same time last year.
The following night, July 14/15, another 295 cars were set on fire throughout the country.
In the urban violence version of deja vu, police battled bands of dozens of youths throughout the Parisien region, once again facing a hail of stones and projectiles, and in one tragic case, pyrotechnics were fired into police, resulting in one police commissioner becoming so seriously injured that he might lose an eye.
Tiberge at GalliaWatch has done her usual excellent work in providing a thorough round-up of the news of both the official glittering Bastille Day festivities as well as the grim urban violence in its shadows. Be sure to scroll down and read her earlier reports about who France's amnesiac President, Nicholas Sarkozy, had invited to attend the military parades this year. (I'm not going to spoil the surprise, you'll have to read the scandalous news for yourselves...)
The government hastens to point out that "only" 33 cars were burned the night of July 12/13, and that the first quarter of 2008 had seen an overall 20% reduction in car burnings... statistics which must be hardly reassuring to the besieged French citizens who see their vehicles being destroyed in fires as ritualistic as anything going on along the Champs-Elysées.