France arrests dozens after unrest over Algeria qualification

PARIS - French police arrested at least 74 people overnight Friday after rioting and looting erupted following Algeria's historic qualification for the second round of the World Cup.

Police said some 30 people were arrested in the Paris region and the rest in cities across the country, after Algeria reached the last 16 for the first time in their history with a 1-1 draw against Russia.

The central city of Lyon was particularly hard-hit, with shops looted, several dozen cars set on fire and firefighters assaulted, the interior ministry said.

"The ministry firmly condemns the intolerable excesses that marred Algeria's qualification. They were committed by a minority who used the World Cup as a pretext to assault firefighters and police," ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

"In most cases celebrations took place without any incident and in an excellent atmosphere," he said.

He said police would be on alert for further disturbances as Algeria face Germany in the second round on Monday.