French riot spreads to 300 towns | world | Hindustan Times
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French riot spreads to 300 towns

In the first fatality in 11 days of unrest, a 61-year-old man beaten into a coma by a youth died on Monday.

world Updated: Nov 08, 2005 00:52 IST

Rioting by French youths spread to 300 towns overnight and a man hurt in the violence died of his wounds, the first fatality in 11 days of unrest, police said on Monday. Governments worldwide urged their citizens to be careful in France.

As urban violence spread to neighbouring Belgium and possibly Germany, the French Government faced growing criticism for its inability to stop the violence, despite massive police deployment and continued calls for calm.

Vandals burned more than 1,400 vehicles overnight on Sunday, and clashes around the country left 36 police injured, setting a new high for nightly arson and violence since rioting started on October 27, France's national police chief, Michel Gaudin, told a news conference.

Australia, Britain, Germany and Japan advised their citizens to exercise care in France, joining the United States, Russia and at least a half dozen other countries in warning tourists to stay away from violence-hit areas.

The victim was identified as 61-year-old Jean-Jacques Le Chenadec, who died after being beaten by an attacker. The man, a retired auto industry worker, was trying to extinguish a trash can fire on Friday at his housing project in the northeastern suburb of Stains when an attacker caught him by surprise and beat him into a coma, police said.

Apparent copycat attacks spread outside France for the first time, with five cars torched outside Brussels' main train station, police in the Belgian capital said.