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Last Updated: Friday, 3 February 2006, 09:33 GMT
France deports African 'rioter'
Young man walks past burnt-out garage
Youngsters in deprived suburbs accused police of harassment
France says it has carried out the first deportation of a foreigner convicted of taking part in the November riots that swept the country.

French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said a 22-year-old man had been flown back to Mali.

Six more expulsions will follow, Mr Sarkozy said.

In November, Mr Sarkozy asked local authorities to deport 120 foreigners held over the riots - but most cases were dropped as many were minors.

Speaking on French television on Thursday, Mr Sarkozy said "it's taking a little while, because this is a state based on the rule of law, but when you're taken in by France and you're not French you do something other than setting fire to your neighbours' cars".

In three weeks of rioting, about 9,000 vehicles were torched, hundreds of schools and public buildings attacked, and more than 3,000 people arrested.

It was the worst urban violence to hit France since the student-worker riots of 1968.

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