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French police, youth clash after death of teen

Restive youths in a Paris suburb torched a tourist bus and nearly a half-dozen cars and hurled objects at police early Tuesday, following the death of a teen pizza deliverer fleeing police.

Restive youths in a Paris suburb torched a tourist bus and nearly a half-dozen cars and hurled objects at police early Tuesday, following the death of a teen pizza deliverer fleeing police.

Authorities sent teams of riot police into the Bagnolet suburb on the eastern edge of Paris after a night of violence following the Sunday night death of an 18-year-old pizza deliverer fleeing police on his motorcycle.

On Monday, about 40 young people threw Molotov cocktails at police and set fire to cars in a housing project in Bagnolet.

One person fired at police with a handgun, French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said in a statement. No injuries were reported.

The violence broke out after the 18-year-old man fled from police on his motorcycle. Police say the man drove away to avoid a police document check.

The man lost control of the vehicle and hit a barrier, and died en route to the hospital.

The rioters set fire to 29 cars and smashed windows of a high school and store, police said. One person was detained.

Hortefeux called for calm and insisted that "all light will be shed" on the cause of the young man's death. He has ordered an internal police investigation into the death. An autopsy was scheduled Monday.

Tensions between young people and police have long simmered in housing projects in France's suburbs, with two major outbreaks in the past four years.

Clashes in 2007 were prompted by the deaths of two teenagers killed in a motorcycle crash with a police car in the Paris suburb of in Villiers-le-Bel, a town of public housing blocks that is home to Arab, black and white residents.

The violence in 2005, which stretched from late October until mid-November, started after two black teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police in an electrical substation in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois. At the time, former French president Jacques Chirac imposed a state of emergency on the region.

With files from The Associated Press

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