Buildings and cars were torched overnight as youths and police clashed in the northern French city of Amiens, say officials and police.
Sixteen police officers were injured in the clashes with up to 100 youths, some of whom threw fireworks, large-sized shot and projectiles, say police.
Reports suggest the unrest may have been triggered after police arrested a man for dangerous driving.
President Francois Hollande has vowed to restore order.
"Interior Minister Manuel Valls will go to Amiens immediately... to say there once again that the state will mobilise all its resources to combat this violence," he said.
Continue reading the main story“Start QuoteIt has been years since we've known a night as violent as this with so much damage done”
Amiens Mayor Gilles Demailly"Our priority is security which means that the next budget will include additional resources for the gendarmerie and the police," Mr Hollande said.
A leisure centre, school and cars were burned overnight on Monday amid the unrest in the rundown district of Amiens, reports said.
The clashes are believed to have started at about 21:00 (19:00 GMT), ending at about 04:00 once police reinforcements arrived. Up to 150 police are said to have used tear gas and rubber bullets to quell the violence.
Mayor Gilles Demailly said the clashes left behind a "scene of desolation".
"There have been regular incidents here but it has been years since we've known a night as violent as this with so much damage done," Mr Demailly told Agence France-Presse.
Smaller-scale clashes had also erupted the previous night in response to the controversial arrest, reports said.
This district of Amiens had reportedly already been earmarked for extra security spending after it was identified as among the 15 most troubled areas in France by the government earlier this month.
In 2005, the deaths of two teenagers sparked weeks of looting and car-burning in housing estates across France.
It sparked an debate about deprivation and social exclusion, but many analysts say little has changed for France's marginalised youth, many of North African origin.
French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday promised a tough response to a riot that devastated a deprived neighbourhood in the northern city of Amiens overnight.
"The state will mobilise all its means to combat these violent acts," Hollande said after a night of unrest that left 16 police officers injured, a primary school badly damaged by fire and a sports centre completely destroyed.
"Security is not only a priority for us, it is an obligation."
Hollande's Interior Minister Manuel Valls was due to visit Amiens later on Tuesday.
The riot, which the local mayor has linked to rising social tension against a backdrop of a deteriorating economy, cast a shadow over Hollande's celebration of 100 days since he was elected.
Hollande was in the southeastern village of Pierrefeu-du-Var to pay tribute to two female police officers who were shot dead in the line of duty in June.
The visit was intended to underline the Socialist president's support for the police and his determination to address public concerns over crime.
But it risked backfiring after the father of one of the two murdered policewomen denounced it as a public relations stunt.
Claude Berthaut, whose daughter Audrey was shot dead alongside her colleague Alicia Champlon, said: "I regret that he didn't come before but has instead come for communications purposes 100 days after his election.
"In my mind, it is two months too late."
Hollande sent an official from his private office to represent him at the funerals of the two officers, citing prior commitments.----
In: Regional News
Tags: francois, hollande, france, president, response, amiens, riot
Location: Amiens, Picardie, France (load item map)
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