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CRIME

US tourists injured in random acid attack in French city

Two young female American tourists were sprayed with hydrochloric acid in the French city of Marseille on Sunday by a woman who appeared to have psychological problems, a police source said.

US tourists injured in random acid attack in French city
Saint-Charles train station where the attack took place. AFP
The attack occurred inside the Mediterranean port city's Saint-Charles train station at around 9.00 am.
 
The woman sprayed the tourists in the eyes, the source said, adding that she targeted the people closest to her and that the incident “was not of a terrorist nature”.
   
The two injured tourists, both aged around 20, were travelling in a group of four. They were not targeted because of their nationality, the source added.
   
One of the two women was suffering from partial loss of vision. Both were admitted to hospital but were discharged in the afternoon.
   
The attacker was born in 1976 and was known to police for theft.
   
The police source said she had justified her actions by saying she herself had been the victim of an acid attack when she was younger.

POLICE

France vows to tackle motorbike ‘rodeos’ after children injured

The French government has pledged a new crackdown against illicit motorbike cruising by youths in suburbs across the country, after two children were seriously injured by a rider near Paris.

France vows to tackle motorbike 'rodeos' after children injured

The rowdy late-night races and stunts known as “rodeos” have become increasingly popular in particular in low-income neighbourhoods, leading to complaints about traffic and noise from local officials and many residents.

On Friday evening, a 10-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy were hit by a rider while playing tag outside their home in Pontoise, northwest of the capital.

French daily Le Figaro reported on Monday that the girl suffered a blow to the head and remained in serious condition in hospital, while the boy had a broken leg.

The accident came after a 19-year-old man was killed in June after being hit by a bike rider in the western city of Rennes.

“I have asked the police to step up their interventions this month,” Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said in the southern city of Marseille.

Nonetheless the rodeos are often tolerated or defended as a gritty urban subculture that provides an outlet for disaffected youths, with an upcoming film, “Rodeo”, that appears to glorify the gatherings and  generated a strong buzz at the Cannes film festival last May.

Police have carried out 8,000 operations to break up rodeos in the past two months, leading to 1,200 arrests and the seizure of around 700 motorbikes and other vehicles including all-terrain “quads”.

In 2018, parliament passed a law increasing penalties for the riders to up to five years in prison.

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