Riot Police Move In on Parisian Gang War

Violence in French capital leaves several bystanders dead
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2008 8:52 AM CDT
Riot police in Paris have moved in after a feud between two gangs continued to escalate.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – French riot police have been deployed to contain a gang war in the northeast of Paris, as fighting between youths from two rival housing projects has left several bystanders dead, reports the Guardian. Unlike earlier violence in France, this battle is taking place not in suburban ghettos but in the capital, where locals complain that they're being pushed out by the forces of gentrification.

The two projects in Paris's 19th arrondissement have feuded for 15 years, but the violence escalated recently, with more youths now choosing guns over knives. The mother of one victim said that as more middle-class Parisians move into the neighborhood, the projects have become more dangerous. "There are two 19th arrondissements, the rich and us," she said. "And we're being shut away in high-rises and forgotten."