France: 1,200 Vehicles Torched

(RFE/RL) — French authorities say nearly 1,200 parked vehicles were set on fire during New Year’s Eve across the country.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls said vandals set 1,193 vehicles on fire.

He also said police and rioters clashed in Strasbourg and Mulhouse, and 339 people were arrested.

It was the first time in three years that authorities have announced the number of vehicles that went up in flames.

The government of former President Nicolas Sarkozy had stopped releasing the total in a bid to reduce attention given to vandals.

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RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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