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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 November 2005, 05:58 GMT
Paris riots prompt extra security
Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy in Clichy-sous-Bois
Nicolas Sarkozy has promised more police units for troubled areas
France's Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has promised to step up security after violence flared for several nights in a Paris suburb.

Twelve people were reportedly arrested during clashes on Monday with youths in Clichy-sous-Bois, although it was calmer than on previous nights.

The unrest was sparked by the death of two boys whom locals think were fleeing police, despite official denials.

Mr Sarkozy met police in Clichy, but the boys' parents refused to meet him.

On Saturday, hundreds of mourners paid homage to the teenagers by holding a peaceful procession in the north-eastern suburb, which has a large immigrant population.

Tough response

The authorities have denied rumours that policemen were chasing the two boys, who were electrocuted on Thursday after entering an electricity sub-station.

Clichy-sous-Bois residents march in memory of two dead teenagers
Mourners paid tribute to the dead teenagers in a peaceful march
Flowers now lie near the spot where Ziad, aged 17, and Banou, 15, died.

An official investigation into the boys' deaths is under way.

A third young man is seriously ill in hospital.

The BBC's Alasdair Sandford in Paris says many in the suburb do not believe the authorities' account that the two boys were not being chased by police.

Mr Sarkozy has promised to send special police units into difficult suburbs around France to stamp out violence.

Residents will be given "the security they have a right to", he said while speaking to senior police officers in Clichy.

He promised to find out who had hurled one or more tear gas canisters into a mosque on Sunday night, but added "that does not mean that it was fired by a police officer".

Rumours that the tear gas was thrown by the police into a place of worship fuelled the unrest.

Mr Sarkozy also met the president of the Muslim community in the Clichy area.

Local people in Clichy have accused Mr Sarkozy of heightening tensions by using inflammatory language.

During Saturday's march in memory of the dead teenagers, there were calls for the government to tackle discrimination against immigrant communities such as theirs.

Mr Sarkozy told police on Monday that "for 30 years the situation has been getting worse in a number of neighbourhoods".

"It's not a story that's three days, three weeks or three months old," he said.


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What caused the riots to break out



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