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France shuts down over 40 Roma camps

Reuters

France has shut down more than 40 camps housing hundreds of Roma immigrants, interior minister Brice Hortefeux revealed on Thursday. They were closed down in the past two weeks following the announcement of a government crackdown.

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Hortefeux said some 700 people had been rounded up and would be sent back to their countries of origin on “specially chartered flights”. The immigrants are said to have come to France from Romania and Bulgaria.

The French government announced on 28 July that it was planning to tear down 300 illegal camps that Roma immigrants had set up, after President Nicolas Sarkozy said the minority posed security “problems”.

Hortefeux, who was speaking at a news conference in Lyon, said he would meet Romanian ministers next week to "remind them of the strong need to strengthen operational security between our two countries."

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