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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 10:15 GMT
Violence subsides across France
Gendarme on patrol in Les Moulins in Nice
Police are reporting a significant drop in violence
Urban violence has subsided for a third night in France, with fewer cars set ablaze and curfews in force in just five administrative areas.

Youths clashed with police in the southern city of Toulouse and sporadic violence was reported elsewhere.

But calm reigned in the Paris area, where the riots began on 27 October.

Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered the expulsion of all foreigners convicted of taking part in the riots.

He told parliament 120 foreigners had been found guilty of involvement and would be deported without delay.

State of emergency

Police reported 394 vehicles set ablaze on Wednesday night, compared with Sunday's peak of 1,400.

Paris region
Le Havre

The government has declared a state of emergency in Paris and more than 30 other areas to help quell the unrest.

Curfews have been imposed in the northern towns of Rouen, Le Havre and Evreux and parts of the French Riviera.

No one under the age of 16 in those areas is allowed out unaccompanied by an adult between 2200 and 0600 (2100 and 0500 GMT) and is banned from buying petrol.

There are no curfews in the Paris suburbs.


Support for powers

Mr Sarkozy told MPs on Wednesday that non-French nationals - "not all of whom are here illegally" - had been convicted of taking part in the attacks.

"I have asked the prefects to deport them from our national territory without delay, including those who have a residency visa," he said.

The nightly protests have gripped deprived areas where unemployment is rife and residents complain of racism and discrimination.

Cabinet can declare state of emergency in all or part of the country
Regional leaders given exceptional powers to apply curfew
Breach of curfew could mean two-month jail sentence
Police can carry out raids on suspected weapons stockpiles
Interior minister can issue house-arrest warrants for those deemed dangerous to public safety
Public meeting places can be closed down
House searches possible day or night
Authorities can control media, film and theatre performances
Emergency can only be extended beyond 12 days if approved by parliament

The unrest was first sparked by the deaths in the run-down Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois of two youths, who were accidentally electrocuted at an electricity sub-station.

The emergency powers handed to local authorities have been invoked under a 1955 law. This is the first time they have been implemented in mainland France.

They allow a state of emergency to be declared in defined areas, and can be extended by parliament after 12 days.

Curfews can be implemented, police can carry out house searches and public meetings can be banned under the measures.

Nearly three out of four French people support the powers, according to a poll published in the daily Le Parisien newspaper.

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