Le Pen blasts ‘STUPEFYING VIOLENCE’ after pupils SET SCHOOL ON FIRE and run riot in ParisMARINE Le Pen has attacked the French government for losing control of the country after dozens of teenagers rampaged through north Paris suburbs in an unprecedented wave of riots.
Armed with iron bars, more than 50 youths ran riot through the Saint-Denis suburb, throwing stones at police cars as well as starting fires and setting off smoke bombs in three sixth form colleges.
The rampage forced teachers to lock themselves in their classrooms to escape the attacks. Local authorities have estimated the cost of the damage could be in the set taxpayers back more than £60,000 (€70,000).
Furniture was set ablaze and explosive devices were set off as around 80 protesters ran riot through the suburb.
On Wednesday, 55 people were arrested by police although just eight are set to face charges, the Telegraph reports.
Marine Le Pen condemned the riots and said: “It is not tolerable that thugs threaten the future of our country and put teachers and pupils in danger.”
She branded the violence “stupefying” and accused the socialist government of a “minimal reaction” while calling for a zero tolerance policy on crime.
In a statement, the Front National leader said: “As usual, the government was satisfied with a minimal response, through the voice of the Minister of National Education.
“The Prime Minister is probably too busy campaigning against my candidacy to worry about what is happening in the country!”
She added: “It is only by strong measures and applied without weakness that the Republic will again be respected everywhere.”
In response, French prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve told Le Pen to stop trying to “provoke and stoke disorder” to win support ahead of next month’s first round of voting in the country’s general election.
He added: “This is not a service to our country.”
Le Pen’s presidential rival Francois Fillon tweeted: "This situation is not tolerable. I will not tolerate it! Policemen, security forces and teachers must be better supported.”
Philippe Tournier, the general secretary of the head teachers’ union, condemned the attacks and said violence in France has escalated in recent years.
He said: “We have reached a new level of violence.
“If things carry on this way it will be end up [with someone dying]. Ten years ago, we did not see scenes of this nature.”
The riots came following calls on social media for protests over police violence after Theo Lusaka, 22, was allegedly raped by an officer in February.Last month, Paris was gripped by a series of protests that included arson and mugging attacks and led authorities to warn people to stay away from the capital.
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