French authorities are enforcing a ban on public gatherings in Paris following the 16th night of disturbances in predominantly Muslim-inhabited areas of the country.

The restrictions, to remain in effect until early Sunday (0700 UTC), ban all public meetings authorities believe could provoke or encourage disorder. The ban follows interception of Internet and text messages urging rioters to gather in downtown areas of the city.

Meanwhile, authorities in the eastern Lyon region have imposed a nighttime curfew that bars minors from the streets from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time. It is to go into effect this Saturday evening and expire Monday morning.

Earlier, officials reported about 500 vehicles torched overnight, an increase over Thursday that reversed the downward trend of recent days.

Police say the riots involve young people from the country's North African minority population, who have complained of harassment, racism and job discrimination.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.