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Thursday, July 27

France wildfires: Two teen suspected arsonists under arrest

France fires: Two teenagers arrested as 'arson' is blamed for Riviera blazes
By PETER ALLEN
July 27, 2017 - 4 hours ago
Evening Standard (U.K.)


Two suspected teenage arsonists were in custody in the south of France today as “criminal activity” was blamed for fires that forced the evacuation of thousands of holidaymakers.

The 16-year-old alleged arsonists, who have not been identified, were in police cells in Martigues, between Marseille and Montpellier, preparing for another day of questioning.

They are thought to have set fire to parched shrubland on Tuesday, causing one of the blazes that have engulfed more than 15 square miles of countryside.

Renaud Muselier, president of the Provence regional council, told FranceInfo radio station that many of the fires were “of criminal origin” and the “activity of arsonists” had to be stopped.

Marion Manent, whose family trailer homes were among some 200 burned in La Londe-les-Maures, in the Var, said “someone is certainly responsible”, adding that she viewed the arsonists as “potential killers”.

It came as British tourists were among thousands who spent a second night on beaches in the Var, as fires raged in the hills above them.  [From an AFP report, many evacuees were lodged in public shelters but some preferred to sleep on the beach.]


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