REUTERS - The French press reported that the Interior Ministry released a final "verified" count of 1,147 vehicles burned in France over New Year's Eve. The number is up 30.64% from last year's total, 878.
Car burnings are regular occurrences in France but the registering the New Year's Eve total has become something of a tradition since they achieved symbolic status in the violent rioting that shook many of the country's poor suburbs in 2005.
There were around 50 burnings in the eastern city of Strasbourg, where police made 17arrests, including four people caught while setting fire to cars.
And now these French lads have turned to setting fire to buildings and using explosives too. And neither the French authorities or the press can put their fingers on the cause:
Officials were also on guard against possible attacks after five sticks of dynamite were left in a Paris department store just before Christmas by a so-far unidentified group demanding a withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan.
"There were few 'contacts' with police, gendarmes and fire services but an increase in the number of burnings for which we don't have an explanation at the moment," the official said.
Anyone out there have an explanation for this sudden rise in rage-filled incendiary behavior? The French need your help.
H/T: Ace...whose own post is completely bereft of possible explanations.