Russia, Portugal urge citizens to shun suburbs

4th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

MOSCOW, Nov 3 (AFP) – Russia and Portugal both issed warnings to their citizens traveling or living in the Paris area in light of continued rioting in the capital's suburbs.

MOSCOW, Nov 3 (AFP) – Russia and Portugal both issed warnings to their citizens traveling or living in the Paris area in light of continued rioting in the capital's suburbs.

Russia Thursday advised tourists to Paris to avoid the city suburbs after an incident in which a bus used by Russian visitors was torched by rioters during clashes between police and youths this week.

"We are not issuing a recommendation not to go to Paris. The advisory concerns only suburbs where there have been disorders," said a Russian foreign ministry spokesman, Mikhail Troyansky.

Troyansky also said there had been an incident in which a tourist bus used by Russians staying at a hotel in a Paris suburb had been hijacked and set on fire.

There were no passengers aboard at the time.

The tourist group has since been moved to another hotel.

Portugal's foreign ministry also said Thursday it would provide consular protection including help with relocation for any of its citizens caught up in the rioting that has raged around Paris for the past week who seek it.

"Any Portuguese citizen in the Paris region who feels unsafe can get in contact," with Portuguese consulates in the region, foreign ministry spokesman Antonio Carneiro Jacinto told Lisbon-based news radio TSF.

No member of the large Portuguese community in the Paris region has so far asked the consulate for help, but Lisbon is willing to help relocate any Portuguese national who does not feel safe, he added.

The poor suburbs in the north and east of Paris where the week-long surge of violence has taken place is home to a high number of immigrants, including a significant number of Portuguese citizens.

Some 800,000 Portuguese immigrants and their children live in France, most of them in the Paris region.

During a week of clashes between French youths and riot police, hundreds of vehicles have been torched, a police station ransacked and live bullets fired at officers.

Portugal offers consular protection to nationals in riot-hit Paris

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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