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Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Paris police move squatters out
Africans demonstrate after latest Paris fire
The fires have fuelled demands for decent low-cost housing
Paris police have evicted dozens of African illegal immigrants from two buildings declared unsafe after deadly house fires in the past week.

The French news agency AFP said 70 immigrants left a former print works in the 19th district, then 80 Ivorians were moved from a squat in the 14th.

Police said the squatters had no right to occupy buildings "known... to expose occupants to risk".

Recently 24 Africans died in fires that ravaged dilapidated buildings in Paris.

The police move on Friday was in line with Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy's plan to evict people from the French capital's most run-down apartment buildings and squats.

In April a hotel fire in Paris also killed 24 Africans, highlighting a shortage of decent cheap housing in the city.

Squatters protested during Friday's police operation in the 14th district and tried to block the entrance.

The Paris authorities have identified more than 1,000 run-down buildings, in which some 13,000 families are housed or are squatting - most of them African.

Pressure groups have demanded immediate investment in public housing.

AFRICANS KILLED IN PARIS FIRES
1. 15 April: Blaze at Paris-Opera hotel kills 24
2. 26 August: Fire in 13th district kills 17, including 14 children
3. 30 August: Seven die in Marais fire, including four children

Immigrants or refugees often live in slum areas, ghettos or the worst housing available. Do host governments have an obligation to house immigrants, no matter their immigration status?

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SEE ALSO:
In pictures: Paris blaze
30 Aug 05 |  In Pictures


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