Violence hit France for a third night following the election of conservative Nicolas Sarkozy, with about 200 vehicles torched by vandals and more than 80 people taken in for questioning nationwide, the interior minister said Wednesday.
The violence has largely been carried out by those in the left-wing and anarchists angered by Sarkozy's win in presidential elections on Sunday. Sarkozy's detractors criticize his free-market reforms and tough line on crime.
Though violence continued late Tuesday and early Wednesday, the third night after the election was much calmer than the previous two, Interior Minister Francois Baroin said.
About 730 cars were burned nationwide Sunday night and 592 people were arrested. The following night, 373 vehicles were torched and 160 people were taken in for questioning across France.
Baroin called the violence and vandalism "unacceptable."
Political sentiment "must be expressed at the polling stations, not in the streets," Baroin told France-Info radio.
Sarkozy, who beat Socialist Segolene Royal for the presidency, is a divisive figure whose tough language and policies have angered many on the left — and in the immigrant-dominated suburban housing projects that exploded into rioting in 2005.
This week, most of those torching cars have been white, unlike during the 2005 riots. Those riots involved many black and Arab youth angry over discrimination and alienation from mainstream society.
Last Mod: 09 Mayıs 2007, 16:09