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Page last updated at 20:13 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

France sends troops to Guadeloupe

People burn tires on 18 February in Pointe-a-Pitre
The island has been crippled by a month of strikes over the cost of living

France is sending four military police units to Guadeloupe after one person was killed during month-long riots and strikes on the French Caribbean island.

Interior minister Michele Alliot-Marie said 260 gendarmerie officers are being deployed to the restive French region.

A general strike over rising prices has crippled the island since 20 January.

In overnight riots, union official Jacques Bino was shot dead by armed youths at a barricade in Guadeloupe's largest city, Pointe-a-Pitre.

Six members of the security forces were also slightly injured during the clashes, which led to the closure of Guadeloupe's airport on Tuesday.

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Thousands of tourists have cancelled their holidays in Guadeloupe and Martinique, another French island 160km (100 miles) to the south, where looting has been reported amid mass rallies over wages.

Correspondents say many residents feel their salaries are not keeping up with the rising cost of living.

President Nicolas Sarkozy is due to meet officials from Guadeloupe in Paris on Thursday to take stock of the situation.


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SEE ALSO
Caribbean protests: Your stories
19 Feb 09 |  Americas
Guadeloupe protests turn deadly
18 Feb 09 |  Europe
Violent strikes on French island
17 Feb 09 |  Europe
French isles top EU jobless table
16 Feb 09 |  Europe
France faces unrest in Caribbean
12 Feb 09 |  Europe
Regions and territories: Guadeloupe
22 Apr 08 |  Country profiles
Regions and territories: Martinique
29 Aug 12 |  Country profiles

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