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Last Updated: Friday, 5 January 2007, 16:35 GMT
Sarkozy condemns Corsica bombers
French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy in Corsica
Nicolas Sarkozy said the future lay in developing Corsica's economy
French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has urged teenagers in Corsica to turn away from separatist violence.

He was speaking the day after a bomber killed himself in a bungled attack, and five other devices exploded across the Mediterranean island.

He said it was a waste for the island, the man's family and the man himself.

"We will take all the time we need to put an end to all this," said Mr Sarkozy, on probably his final Corsican visit before running for president.

"I'm not going to stop just because there's a tiny minority that... thinks it's courageous to hide and blow up an unoccupied villa."

While the 54-year-old bomber was killed and a suspected accomplice seriously injured, in the vicinity of some holiday homes in the east of the island, four banks and a tax office were damaged in the main port of Ajaccio.

Bomb attacks are not uncommon in Corsica, where separatists have continued a low-level campaign of violence for decades.

French police search the site of a bomb explosion in Corsica
The bomber's body was reportedly found near holiday homes

Often emblems of French control - like banks and government offices - are attacked, as well as homes owned by non-Corsicans.

Most attacks take place when the buildings are empty and do not appear designed to kill.

Mr Sarkozy said the way ahead lay in developing the Corsican economy to provide jobs for the island's youth.

He announced a billion euros (670m) of investment in the island over the next seven years.


SEE ALSO
Turbulent Corsica spurns autonomy
12 Jul 03 |  From Our Own Correspondent
Regions and territories: Corsica
09 May 06 |  Country profiles

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