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Intifada Comes to Europe

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The riots in France have claimed their first fatality, as violence spreads to other European cities.

A man who was beaten by an attacker while trying to extinguish a trash can fire during riots north of Paris has died of his injuries, becoming the first fatality since the urban unrest started 11 days ago, a police official said Monday. Youths overnight injured three dozen officers and burned more than 1,400 vehicles.

Apparent copycat attacks spread to other European cities for the first time, with five cars torched outside Brussels’ main train station, police in the Belgian capital said.

UPDATE at 11/7/05 8:27:09 am:

They’re also burning cars in Berlin: Berlin Car Fires May Be Inspired by French Rioters, Police Say.

Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) — Arsonists who burned five cars in Berlin today may have sought to imitate rioters in France, police in the German capital said. Another three cars were set alight at a car dealer in the northern German city of Bremen.

“As it can’t be ruled out that these were imitation acts linked to the events in France, Berlin police will reinforce their presence,” according to a statement on the police Web site. The unidentified suspects responsible for the fires in Berlin’s Moabit district escaped, police said.

In the central Brussels area of Gare du Midi, five cars were burned by vandals, Agence France-Presse cited police in the Belgian capital as saying today. Belgian officials downplayed any connection with the French violence, saying the unrest was a local incident, the news agency reported.

More than 1,220 people have been arrested and about 4,700 vehicles have been torched in France since Oct. 27, as violence spread to cities throughout the country after youths rioted in several Paris suburbs. The unrest began after two youths in the Paris suburb of Clichy were electrocuted during what witnesses said was an attempt to flee a police check.

In Bremen, unidentified arsonists also set alight a garbage container and a disused school building late yesterday, the city’s police said on their Web site, without making a connection to the violence in France.

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