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ECH1969 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:58 AM
Original message
Chirac's horror as woman burnt in riot
Riot police reinforcements were deployed in Marseille last night after the latest outbreak of urban violence in France left a young woman in a critical condition with life-threatening burns.

President Jacques Chirac expressed his horror at the attack hours after the 26-year-old woman and three others were ambushed by rioting teenagers while travelling on a bus in the southern port city.

The assailants said by some witnesses to be as young as 15 forced the vehicle's doors open, spilled flammable liquid inside, and set it alight.

There were similar attacks in major cities across the country at the weekend, just hours after the passing of the anniversary of the rioting and car-burning that brought terror to urban areas last year.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/20...
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:59 AM
Response to Original message
1. Right wing fanatics will use this as an excuse
to kill islamics
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:17 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Interesting response.
Mine is the same as Chirac's: Horror. It's a terrible story, and a nightmare for this woman and her family. Yes, there are people whom this will incite to violence, but the person who was attacked is the person with whom my sypathies lie, and for all I know she is a Muslim. The perpetrators of this attack behaved appallingly. Fuck people who do things like this, whatever their religious backgroung.
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:36 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. One only needs to look at Algeria in the fifties to see the start of this
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 05:37 AM by saigon68
as the colonial empire came apart, the seeds of discontent were sown.

For example, look WHO did the car burning the last time around, and the reasons for that particular brand of urban violence.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:46 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. It's impossible
to separate all the strands of causation and neatly attribute events that happen today to events that happened 50 years ago. In any case, that hardly absolves the hooligans who did this. They're responsible, and I hope they're prosecuted to the max.
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #7
20. Interesting response, indeed.
I didn't see anyone "absolving" anyone else of anything. Rather, I saw someone with historical perspective of the incident.
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anotherdrew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #5
26. these rioters wouldn't be in frace if france hadn't tried to do the right thing
these ungrateful little shits deserve deportation back to whatever hell-hole their parents came from.
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #26
43. Il est douteux
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #26
46. That's right. How dare these people oject to being
an underclass? They should just sit in their hovels and shut the fuck up.
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kurth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:49 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. Time for emergency curfews, or France will fall apart
with regular uprisings like this. France is among the most generous countries as far as extending social benefits to immigrants. This is the work of the criminal underclass among them.

This crap cannot be justified, explained, or tolerated.

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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #2
14. I generally admire your desire to seek perspective . .
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 10:27 AM by msmcghee
. . in your posts. One part of this perspective that seems true is that for many on the left an often stated commitment to non-violence depends on their identification with the victims of the violence. When they identify with the perpetrators of the violence it suddenly becomes justified - often stated as "the only way their side can survive against their ruthless enemies".

Many of the posts at DU thinly veil this truth - as in the post you were responding to - while others unapologetically prove it. This is nowhere so apparent as in the I/P zone where I have been following your posts for some time. I am not criticizing your position since you seem to be more thoughtful than most. Just trying to understand it better. My interest is in human nature more than taking sides.

Is non-violence an intrinsic value of the left - or should it be - in your opinion? Is violence in self-defense justified? And how do you distinguish between self-defense and aggression?
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. I don't see that
non-violence is an intrinsic value of the left, but it is one that many on the left value. As your interest lies in human nature, let me note that I believe that agression and violence are part of the human psyche. As for distinguishing between self-defense and aggression, I'd have to say that I think that often has to be discerned on a case by case basis. In this case, I have no hesitation condemning the mob type violence that led to this tragic incidence. (Don't even get me started on mobs.)
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msmcghee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #15
29. Thanks for your response.
If I could ask another question,

. . in discerning, on a case by case basis, whether violence is justifiable self-defense or unjustifiable aggression - what principles guide your decision?
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Miss Chybil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #2
18. I agree with you. There is no excuse for terror.
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 11:01 AM by Miss Chybil
Whether it be perpertrated by governments, religious zealots, the oppressed, or thugs on the street. Violence can never be the answer.

(Although, I suppose if the woman being burned happened to shoot the burners, then I'd have to say there are exeptions to my statement above - such as in cases of immediate threat.)
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susanna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
44. Word. n/t
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:24 AM
Response to Original message
3. Normally, I admire France's revolutionary spirit--all but dead in the US.
However, to burn an innocent woman is an appalling act of cruelty & cowardice--the act of a terrorist rather than a revolutionary.
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anotherdrew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
32. these rioters are NOT revolutionary - they want more free money from the government
fuck these rioters
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INDIA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
45. "revolutionary spirit"????
Jesus man, read a newspaper.
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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:26 AM
Response to Original message
4. This young lady was a student from Senegal
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 05:27 AM by 48percenter
she has burns over 70% of her body. She may not survive. I haven't seen much about the identity of the assailants, other than that they were copycating violence from last year.

This idiocy must be stopped, for everyone's sake.

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/front/2006/1030/116205...
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
34. heaven help her!
70 percent of her is burned!

:cry:

Hope they catch the little fux who did this...
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:39 AM
Response to Original message
6. This story is confusing to me.
The story seems to be saying that it's immigrants who are rioting, but yet it sounds like they purposely ambushed this immigrant woman along with other immigrants. Are immigrants attacking immigrants? What is going on here?
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. It is the children and grandchildren of imigrants who....
...busted their arses in shit jobs at slave wages to give thier kids a go in the new country.

Those kids grew up expecting the better lives thier parents promised them.

Those kids discovered that the only life La Belle France, coiner of the phrase "Libert, galit, fraternit", offered them was the same dead end lives their parents had suffered for their benefit.


That does not in the least excuse their actions, but it does explain the frustration that they feel, which boiled over into last year's riots. I'd guess this year's is half a bunch of yahoo idiots out to raise hell for hell's sake and the other half is a reminder/threat that they won't be going away.
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. I understand that immigrants are rioting due to lack of opportunities.
What I don't understand is why they seem to be (at least according to this story) targetting other immigrants. Is this a case of second and third generation immigrants attacking new immigrants? Is this similar to, but more violent than, African-American resentment towards successful Asian immigrants?
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. no, it's not similar
What I don't understand is why they seem to be (at least according to this story) targetting other immigrants. Is this a case of second and third generation immigrants attacking new immigrants? Is this similar to, but more violent than, African-American resentment towards successful Asian immigrants?


No, black Americans are not similar in any way to "second and third generation immigrants". Their history and culture lie at the heart of American history and American culture; without them, America would be unrecognizable -- a wholly different country, in fact. Few other groups (and certainly NO recent immigrants) can make the same claim.

Friction between a native population and an immigrant population is one thing. Children of immigrants engaging in extreme, more-or-less unprovoked nihilistic violence to no real end is something else.
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. I know all of that.
You missed the point of my comparison. I never said it was exactly the same. But it's not really relevant to my original question so I'd rather not pursue it. Maybe it was a bad analogy.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #11
24. Angry people sometimes lash out at whomever is available
Look at inner-city violence.. Their own communities are the ones that suffer the most..
their own children, the victims of so much violence :(

It's rage..and rage is rarely thoughtful
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. why don't you use the white rural meth culture as an example?
Look at inner-city violence.. Their own communities are the ones that suffer the most..
their own children, the victims of so much violence


No need to automatically invoke America's "inner city" and those who live there as examples of this sort of dysfunction.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. The county I live in has been a "meth-haven" (Roverside County)
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 12:36 PM by SoCalDem
BUT..meth dealers are secretive by nature and do their best to remain inconspicuous..they do not usually shoot up neighborhoods and kill children in drive-bys.

They are dangerous people, to be sure, but the overt violence is not a "norm" for meth dealers..(at least the ones around here)
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. when a white man or white kid shoots up a school...
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 02:15 PM by NorthernSpy
... the consensus is that it's all about his personality and dysfunction as an individual. It's never about whites in general.

When a black kid shoots up the neighborhood, it's always about the broader class of people to whom he belongs: blacks.

That's a double standard.


And since you mentioned the victimization of children: The innocents: Kids fall victim to parents' addictions. It's about children in the methamphetamine subculture. Not pretty.

Gee, look what those angry, dysfunctional white folks do to their own children!


:sarcasm:


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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-03-06 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #30
54. I can argue this
If an attack was racially motivated, people do tie it into white racist America, so that argument does not stand.

If an attack was not racially motivated it is usually connected to some sort of sub-group such as in Columbine with the "goths" or "militias" etc..

The reason attacks such as this in France are connected to race/religious/identity it is because they ARE. It is that simple. We cannot simply dismiss this because we do not like it.

We can have compassion and understanding for the conditions that lead to this, but this violent acting out by any group should not be tolerated and as much as the good libs in here (myself included) don't like it, the Muslim communities in France and other parts of the world act out violently first. It is unacceptable and there is NO EXCUSE for it.
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marshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #6
21. they are immigrants without a country
They are second or third generation in France. They can't go back to Algeria because they are not wanted there and could be killed. And France can't figure out how to treat them so they don't really fit in with where they live.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #6
23. Immigrant is codeword for Islamic
Most folks in Senegal are Islamic so I guess the people that torched the bus didn't care who was inside. They just wanted to destroy a symbol of their oppressors.

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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
35. That's not unusual...


I remember the riots in DC in 1968, after Dr King was assassinated. African American homes and businesses were destroyed.

In the riots that followed the Rodney King trial, Korean-owned businesses were the primary targets of looting and vandalism.
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. most rioters in America's history have been white
Why the hell do people automatically invoke black Americans as the example that will explain the behavior of a subset of Algerian immigrants to France? How come no one seizes on other European examples of group conflict and mob violence -- such as in Northern Ireland, for instance?

:argh:
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. and speaking of the Irish -- how about the draft rioters in New York City?
The NYC draft riots of the Civil War era were the work of immigrants who were angry at the circumstances they faced in America, and unwilling to do what their new country demanded of them. So they burned a black orphanage.

But of course, it doesn't occur to anyone to point them out as possibly analogous what's happening in France. Even though as these analogies tend to go, this is not a particularly bad one.
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. That was 100 years ago.
The reason they cite the African-American riots is that those are the ones that took place in the era of television.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. 143 years. Time is catching up with some of us.
At some level, I still think of the Civil War as 100 years ago & WWII as 20 years ago--because that was true in my childhood--when I first became conscious of history. Reality sets in quickly enough & I feel increasingly old & out of place.
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. Eeks. I'm getting OLD. eom
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 02:24 AM
Response to Reply #41
48. I do the same thing Vidar
I'll think of something of happening three years ago and it turns out it was 15 years ago. One of us must be getting old.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. I was speaking of those incidents which I personally had some experience with...
as I had friends in LA during the riots there, and as I lived just outside DC during the 1968 riots. It was not intended to imply that any particular race is, or has ever been, responsible for riots. All rioters in America's history have been human.

If you have other examples of riots in which violence was directed at an illogical scapegoat for the social ills of the times, why not just list them? I'm sure we'd all appreciate the info.
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NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 04:48 AM
Response to Reply #36
49. this is quite correct
Edited on Tue Oct-31-06 04:50 AM by NuttyFluffers
not embedded in the current pop psyche, but quite historically correct. the vast majority of USA riots were majority white, and in fact, majority white protestant. in fact, reading the book Sundown Towns would be an excellent start for people to understand at what enormous scale this level of rioting occurred. the whole central, pacific, and mid-west region have been left a legacy of this horrific history. if anyone wants to check it out an excellent place ot start is the low point of race relations in america, roughly around 1870-1950. quite a horrifying story of rioting.

though the interesting thing is that the analogy of 1960s black american rioting is more appropriate in this line of questioning. there's a question whether this is community self-destruction due to frustration. most of white american rioting was in attacking other groups, which led to ghettoization of minorities for the minority community's safety sake. basically safety in numbers tactic. so i understand the use of such rioting over another in this analogy. whether that's what is going on here in france i do not know, and the suburbanization of the modern era makes such demarcations harder to find.

anywho, thanks for the historical reminder for everyone!
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #49
50. the problem is this: every goddamn time anyone in the world...
... riots, or deals drugs, or sets something on fire, or whatever, some twit immediately pops up and chirps, "that's just like the blacks here".

It's like a reflex. Disorder, misery, and social decay anywhere in the world, and the automatic response is "blacks". There are innumerable perfectly good examples of mob violence and group conflict that don't involve blacks. But it's only those examples that do involve blacks that get cited and recited endlessly. And lo! a stigma is born.

That's what I've been pointing out.

Along with that curious way that NORTH Africans have suddenly been morphed into (what else?) "blacks".
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NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-03-06 02:38 AM
Response to Reply #50
51. that's an excellent observation
globalization of racist classifications and analogies into popular memory. i doubt it's even conscious when it is done by most people, but it is a great observation. it defiintely has the potential to craft a global underclass heirarchy again. it is a trend that should be studied, or at the very least have a term paper done on it.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:13 AM
Response to Original message
9. Savages
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corporatemedia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
13. n/t
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 09:48 AM by corporatemedia
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superconnected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
17. Blacks burning down black neighborhoods... no not a racial statememt.
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 11:00 AM by superconnected
an education level and poverty level statement.

"Immigrant communities from socially deprived backgrounds, especially from north Africa, were largely blamed for the trouble."

"On Friday, 277 vehicles were set on fire across the country. Police said riot officers and youths had clashed in Reims and Toulouse.

Last year's riots were sparked by the deaths in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois of Zyed Benna, 17, and Bouna Traore, 15, both from families of African descent. They were electrocuted as they hid in an electricity sub-station while fleeing from police. Night after night youths, most of them from poor Muslim families, clashed with police in some 275 towns, until order was officially restored on Nov 17."

How LA rodney king riot like. I doubt this is so much about fair treatment as it is about uneducated street thugs having a chance to yell and set fires. The kids they're protesting the death of were hiding from the police. Wonder what the perps did.

"Police and suburban mayors have warned that the conditions that led to the riots remain firmly in place in districts plagued by unemployment of up to 40 per cent."

Yep, sounds like a racial class thing where like in america the blacks burn down their own neighborhoods. And hey, in seattle, where I'm from, THE WHITES set the fires and broke windows to businesses in a predominately white area. So yeah it goes all ways. Still unexcusable. I'm not buying the defense of the people rioting that the other posters listed though.
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. since when do we consider NORTH Africans "black"?
Traditionally, North Africans have not been considered "black", nor have they considered themselves to be "blacks".

But since persons of mostly North African descent are now burning buses in the streets of France, suddenly the consensus is that they're honest-to-goodness black folks after all.

And that just about figures.


:eyes:
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superconnected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #25
31. I'd give you kudos for providing the correct information
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 02:23 PM by superconnected
but you did it so rudely, I'll ignore you.
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. so easily bruised, this one...
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 03:34 PM by NorthernSpy
:eyes:

Algerians have NOT generally been labelled blacks. Algerians have NOT generally claimed kinship with Africans of the "sub-Saharan" kind.

But now, some persons of Algerian ancestry have been spotted wreaking havoc in French cities. And all of sudden -- mirabile dictu -- for what I'm sure are completely unrelated reasons, persons of Algerian ancestry have become "black".

I pointed out that little curiosity rather bluntly, instead of gently and punch-pullingly -- which evidently makes you unhappy.

Tough buns, I say.


:nopity:
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Egnever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-03-06 02:56 AM
Response to Reply #33
52. Says the man with the axe to grind
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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
19. way to campaign for Sarkozy, guys
the few french i know in the states aren't very enamored of muslim immigrants or their french-born children. the country will swing right, the oppression will grow, the violence will grow. if i were algerian french i might think about returning to avoid the backlash.

an israeli i know says the war with iran is inevitable & coming soon.

ww3 is going to be so awesome with RW idiots leading us.

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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
22. arson should never be tolerated
i don't care what your cause or protest, once you start setting things on fire, you don't belong out in free society

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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
40. mini Intifada
Thousands of cars have been burned because two idiots who happened to be muslim electrocuted themselves running from the police. Busses have been burnes, another woman was burned.

So islamic "immigrants" are destroying property. Women victims are no accident.

The majority of crime is France is committed by these "immigrants"

Hundreds of police injured.

They can do nothing and the country will fall apart, or the police will have to take action.

If this was the US the national guard would take control.

Culture war between non conformist islamists and french tradition dating back centuries. My prediction violent french response..FAMAS.
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La_Fourmi_Rouge Donating Member (878 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 12:38 AM
Response to Original message
47. Get it straight: Not Muslim, Not Black.
"The amalgam of peoples of North Africa coalesced eventually into a distinct native population that came to be called Berbers. Distinguished primarily by cultural and linguistic attributes, the Berbers lacked a written language and hence tended to be overlooked or marginalized in historical accounts. Roman, Greek, Byzantine, and Arab Muslim chroniclers typically depicted the Berbers as "barbaric" enemies, troublesome nomads, or ignorant peasants. They were, however, to play a major role in the area's history." (source: Library of Congress).

The poor and disaffected young people of the banlieus are not at all typified by the term "Muslim". Even if they have been born into that tradition, by far the majority profess no religious affiliation at all, and if they have a religion, it is Reggae, or Rap, or Hip-Hop.
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Flagg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-03-06 06:31 AM
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53. FRENCH TEENS PLACED UNDER INVESTIGATION OVER BUS ATTACK
MARSEILLE, France, Nov 3, 2006 (AFP)

- French police Friday arrested a teenager and held four others in custody as they stepped up a criminal investigation into a weekend bus arson attack that left a woman fighting for her life.
The minor arrested in a dawn raid on a housing estate near the site of the Saturday night attack in the southern city of Marseille was the sixth to be seized by authorities.
Five other teenagers, aged 15 and 17, have already been arrested in connection with the attack.
Four were placed under criminal investigation Thursday -- one step short of charges being laid -- and are in custody.
The fifth, a 15-year-old, was freed but will appear in court later as an "assisted witness".
Officials said all the teenagers arrested had records for delinquency.
The bus attack was the worst incident in a flare-up of violence coinciding with the first anniversary of the 2005 riots in mainly-immigrant suburbs around France.
A gang stopped a public bus and some members boarded it, doused it with petrol while the passengers were still inside and set it alight.
All the passengers escaped except one, a 26-year-old French university student of Senegalese origin, Mama Galledou.
She suffered severe burns to 62 percent of her body and remains in a Marseille hospital in an induced coma, with her family by her side.
Her cousin, Ousmane Diagana, told reporters Friday her condition was improving according to medical staff.
He added that, despite the horrific injuries inflicted by the attackers, "the family has no anger nor hate nor any ill-will, and has full confidence in the French legal system."
He said Galledou's relatives did not wish to comment on the arrests and police investigation.
"More than anything we call for the privacy (of Galledou) to be respected," and for the family to be spared excessive media attention because her relatives needed peace "to pray for her so as to help her pull through."
Marseille's state prosecutor, Jacques Beaume, said the four under formal investigation were accused of "voluntary arson which caused disability or permanent injury".
Three of them have admitted participation in the attack, he told reporters late Thursday.
If Galledou dies, any suspects convicted could face life imprisonment. If she survives -- in which case she would be maimed and disfigured -- they could go to jail for 30 years.
Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has said he wants to see the suspects tried as adults and for exemplary punishment to be handed down to any found guilty.
The hospital treating Galledou said she was in a stable condition, but it was still too early to say whether she would survive her injuries. Her family was by her side.
Several dozen local residents held a protest rally Thursday in the Marseille neighbourhood where the youths were arrested, accusing the police of acting "like the Gestapo" and Sarkozy of exploiting the case for media attention.
Sarkozy is aiming to become the right-wing's candidate in France's 2007 presidential election and has long advocated tough law and order policies.

http://www.ttc.org/200611031025.ka3apkl26728.htm
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