French police make arrests in Paris suburb raids
PARIS (Reuters) - Hundreds of French police raided homes in a Paris suburb on Monday and arrested 16 people after an incident earlier this month in which four officers were injured, authorities said.
Nine minors were among those arrested in the early morning raid, which involved up to 200 police in Grigny, south of Paris.
The four officers were hurt on March 2 after being confronted by a group of people gathered near a baker's shop that had been vandalised. Three officers were hit in the face by lead shot and a fourth was hit in the leg by shot and nails.
Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie stressed in a statement her "strong determination not to leave unpunished attacks on the forces of order, particularly those committed with firearms."
The police raid, which was accompanied by journalists and television cameras, followed a similar operation last month in which more than 30 people were arrested on suspicion of involvement in violent clashes with police in the suburb of Villers-le-Bel in November.
The raid, which took place a day after local elections inflicted big losses on the governing centre-right UMP party, underlined the sensitivity of urban security in France more than two years after the largest outbreak of riots seen in decades.
The riots of November 2005 saw weeks of street battles between police and gangs of youths, highlighting the tensions in the poor suburbs that ring many French towns and cities.
(Reporting by Thierry Leveque, writing by James Mackenzie)
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