The French Holocaust of Torched Cars On New Year's Eve
According to Reuters, they have established this year a new record as they burnt no less than 1,147 vehicles, which means 30.64% more than last year's total, 878.
In comparison with last year, police reported 445 car burnings and 288 arrests at 6.00 a.m., while on December 31, 2007, only 372 torched cars and 259 arrests were registered at that hour, an Interior Ministry official stated.
Despite the burning events, there were only a few clashes with police but the reason for the increase in the number of torched cars is not known so far.
"There were few 'contacts' with police, gendarmes and fire services but an increase in the number of burnings for which we don't have an explanation at the moment," the official said.
The city of Strasbourg hasn't been spared of the Car Holocaust as 50 cars were burn in the eastern part of the town and 17 arrests were made. In addition, police managed to catch four people while they were trying to blow up the cars.
Another 12 cars were torched in the southern side of Toulouse and 10 in the western part of Nantes.
However, this is nothing strange or new for the French have “adopted” this custom as a violent tradition on New Year's Eve. Besides the damage caused to the poor four-wheel vehicles, there is always a danger of riots and even terrorist attacks, so the French police mobilized 35,000 officers, meaning some 7,000 more than last year.
These measures were taken after five sticks of dynamite were left in a Paris department store just before Christmas by a yet not known group asking French troops were retired from Afghanistan.
Given that, we wouldn't want to go to France by car during the holiday season...