French authorities deployed more than 2,000 police officers near major tourist sites and the presidential palace in Paris on Friday after cell phone text messages and Internet postings called for moving the suburban violence of the last two weeks into the heart of the capital.
No incidents of unrest were reported in the city Friday, and most of the police remained inside huge steel blue vans that lined streets near the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Elysees -- two of Paris's most popular tourist venues -- and the Elysee Palace, the official residence of President Jacques Chirac.
Paris police banned public gatherings for Saturday and Sunday and the sale of gasoline in jerrycans in an effort to prevent violence inside the city, police officials said, after 15 days of the worst unrest in France in nearly four decades.
Internet blogs and cell phone text messages had urged violent demonstrations Friday near the Eiffel Tower and other locations in Paris, but none materialized.
Separately, groups based in suburban communities where youths have burned cars and torched buildings had called for a peaceful march Friday from the Champ de Mars, the park fronting the Eiffel Tower, to the Champs-Elysees.
No large march occurred, but at a peace monument near the Eiffel Tower, about 150 reporters and television camera crew members outnumbered about a dozen demonstrators who demanded that rioting youths stop their rampages in the country's poor suburbs and that the government pay more attention to the needs of immigrants and their French-born children.
Later in the evening, a few dozen peace demonstrators waving white flags turned up at the monument and staged a small sit-in.
Friday was a holiday in France, Armistice Day, which marks the end of World War I in 1918.
Only one outbreak of arson attacks has been reported in the tourist heart of Paris since violence began in the capital's poor suburban towns 15 days ago and spread to 300 communities across France.
But car-burnings and clashes with police continued Thursday night in suburban communities outside dozens of French towns and cities. Police said 463 vehicles were set ablaze, a slight drop from the previous night. Incidents flared anew in some suburban Paris towns where unrest had subsided, according to official reports.
In the southern town of Carpentras, two firebombs were thrown into a mosque Friday, causing minor damage, the Associated Press reported. It was not clear if the attack was linked to the unrest, but it drew immediate condemnation from the French government.
The violence began in the Paris suburbs after two Muslim youths were electrocuted while hiding from police in a power substation.