BAGNOLET, France - Youths rampaged overnight through a suburban Paris housing project, torching eight cars and a bus in a second night of violence prompted by a teenager's death, officials said Tuesday.

Overall, however, tensions appeared to be subsiding in the town of Bagnolet, with less damage than the night before.

Nine people were detained in the unrest early Tuesday, said regional administration spokeswoman Samira Amrouche.

She said the situation was "relatively calm" compared to the previous night, when 29 cars were burned and young people hurled Molotov cocktails at police.

The anger erupted when an 18-year-old pizza deliverer died in a motorcycle crash after fleeing a police check Sunday night. The unrest that night prompted police to send about 40 vans of riot officers to the housing project Monday night.

A helicopter beamed a spotlight into the area early Tuesday as bands of youth taunted police in a cat-and-mouse game typical of suburban unrest in France. Group of youths set street fires and hurled stones and other objects at police.

After daybreak, residents took stock of the destruction. A Moroccan tourist bus, its Arabic lettering mostly charred off, stood beneath an overpass, little more than a tangle of metal seat frames. Pigeons picked through scraps from burned garbage cans.

For residents of the area, the unrest called to mind riots in 2005 that spread across the country. The spark for that violence was the electrocution deaths of two teenagers hiding from police in a power substation just a few kilometres (miles) from Bagnolet.

"Seeing cars burned, everything damaged, and garbage cans being burned - this is pretty shocking because we aren't used to seeing this," said Bagnolet resident Nejla Hatit.

"I think this has more to do with the riots of 2005 - they want to do the same thing to show that Bagnolet is also a town that is in rebellion," she said.

Tensions with police have long simmered in France's suburbs, feeding on poverty, unemployment and anger over discrimination against the largely Arab and black populations of many suburban housing projects.

In the death of the Bagnolet teen, some witnesses claimed a police car hit the young motorcyclist, though regional prosecutors said there was no sign so far of contact between the vehicles. An internal police investigation was ordered into the death.


Associated Press writer Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.

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