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French PM to impose curfews, deploy police forces to combat rioting

[JURIST] As rioting continues to spread in France [JURIST report], Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin [BBC profile] on Monday announced [press release; TF1 interview excerpts, both in French] the implementation of curfews and the deployment of 9,500 police officers and gendarmes in an effort to stop the escalating violence. Under state-of-emergency law, Villepin will impose the measures in as many as 300 localities. Commentators and some European politicians [JURIST report] suggest that the tension in immigrant-dominated, largely-Muslim ghettos is related to broader racial and religious issues in France, symbolized by the debate last spring over the French government's banning [JURIST report] of religious dress [JURIST archive], including Muslim head scarves [BBC report], in schools. AP has more. Le Monde has local coverage (in French).

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