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Nearly 1,000 March Silently in Paris Suburb on Anniversary of Deaths that Sparked Riots


Around 1,000 people have marched silently through Paris to mark the anniversary of the deaths of two Muslim teenagers that triggered weeks of riots across France last year.

Marchers gathered Friday in the rundown northeastern Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois. They wore T-shirts bearing the slogan "Dead for Nothing," indicating continued disappointment about living conditions. Participants marched past the electrical substation where the two boys were accidentally electrocuted last year while hiding from police.

During the resulting three weeks of violence, mostly Muslim youths of North African descent went on nightly rampages, burning cars and destroying businesses. Protesters said they were fed up with decrepit neighborhoods, a lack of jobs and racial discrimination.

Officials have promised to improve conditions in the suburbs, but disenchantment still exists.

As the anniversary approached, officials warned of more possible violence. French police have heightened security in Paris.

On Wednesday, armed youths set three buses on fire outside Paris and Lyon. No one was hurt, but a number of Parisian bus drivers are refusing to enter what what they regard as dangerous neighborhoods.

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

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