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Paris police suspect arson in Rom squat fire

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Paris prosecutors suspect arson after a Roma squat in Paris was burnt to the ground on Monday night. An eyewitness claims to have seen attackers throw Molotov cocktails at the disused sheds occupied by the Roma and sympathisers say that there were threats to burn it down at a recent protest.

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Two people, one a squatter and the other a firefighter, were injured in the blaze, which started 9.30 pm on Monday in eastern Paris.

The building, which about 100 Roms had occupied since about a year ago, was destroyed but the alarm was sounded on time for the inhabitants to escape with only one of their number hurt.

The blaze came just two days after a demonstration against the squat by people claiming to be neighbours, according to the anti-racist campaign Collectif contre la xénophobie, which says that some of the protesters declared, “We’re going to burn it all down!”

The squatters were moved to hotels paid by the local council overnight but, according to Collectif contre la xénophobie, 45 of them were thrown out of their temporary accommodation on Tuesday morning.

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