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World Briefing / Martinique

French police tackle unrest

February 13, 2009|Times Wire Reports

About 130 French riot police officers landed in the Caribbean territory of Martinique to keep the peace as unrest over the high cost of living escalated and a strike kept shops and some schools shuttered.

The turmoil has led about 10,000 tourists to cancel vacations in Martinique and Guadeloupe, another French Caribbean territory hit by a strike, according to the National Travel Agencies organization.

Martinique's police chief, Col. Francois-Xavier Bourges, said 10 people had been detained on charges of looting and stealing gasoline.

Garbage piled up in the streets, and supermarkets were closed for the eighth straight day.

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