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France - overseas territories

Second night of rioting on French Indian Ocean island, Réunion

Demonstrators stand behind a burning car as they face riot police in the city of Le port, west of the French island of La Reunion
Demonstrators stand behind a burning car as they face riot police in the city of Le port, west of the French island of La Reunion AFP/Richard Bouhet

Youths battled police for the second night running on the French Indian Ocean island of Réunion on Tuesday. The violence started after protests over unemployment and calls for more jobs creation schemes.

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After a night of rioting on Monday, Tuesday was relatively calm, despite youths setting up one roadblock to demand 200 jobs on government-aided schemes, until nightfall.

But then violence erupted again.

Youths fought riot police, who responded with teargas, a municipal building was set on fire and a service station vandalised.

When a motorist tried to force a roadblock set up by protesters, he was dragged from his vehicle, which was set on fire.

At least three people were arrested and the Port area, the deprived area where the riot broke out, flooded with police.

Overseas Territories Minister Victorin Lurel told local television that the government had provided partial funding for 17,000 contracts on two different kinds of job-creation scheme.

But local politicians say that they do not have the funds to make up the difference and that lengthening them from six to 10 months has reduced the number of people who can be taken on.

Riots broke out in February last year over unemployment and poverty on the island.

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