Streets Of Fire

REMY DE LA MAUVINIERE / AP

Firefighters rush to contain a blaze in Aubervilliers, north of Paris

The young men in their hooded sweatshirts go by rapper tags — Spion, El Pach, Benou and K-Soc — and like thousands of others, they were out cruising the mean streets of Paris' banlieues, the grimy, soulless suburban apartment blocks that ring France's big cities. Behind them, near the city hall of Bobigny, a rough town on the northeastern outskirts of the capital, a circle of fire marked where a trash container had been set alight to provoke a police patrol. Earlier in the evening, some 40 hooded youths rampaged through a local shopping center, breaking windows and harassing employees. "People...

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