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French Riots Claim First Life


France has been hit by another night of rioting, and a man beaten during the violence has died of his wounds, becoming the first fatality in almost two weeks of unrest.

Authorities say the man was attacked Friday and had been in a coma until his death Monday.

The violence continued Sunday night despite French President Jacques Chirac's vow to restore order and punish those involved. About 1,000 people have been arrested so far.

Authorities say the rioters, mainly young, black and Arab Muslims of North African origin, are becoming increasingly violent. On Sunday, dozens of police officers were wounded.

The violence began outside Paris October 27, after the accidental deaths of two North African teenagers who were said to be fleeing police. Analysts say the rioting has become an expression by poor minority youths against racism and high unemployment.

A French-based Islamic group, the Union for Islamic Organizations of France, has issued a religious decree, or fatwa, against the rioting.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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