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1 Killed in Guadeloupe Unrest


Officials on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe say rioters shot and killed a union representative overnight during escalating demonstrations over high living costs.

Authorities say the union member Jacques Bino was shot in his car by armed youths manning a barricade in Guadeloupe's largest town, Pointe-a-Pitre. He was the first person to die in the unrest.

Three policemen were injured by gunfire as they tried to reach the scene.

The government in Paris appealed for calm Wednesday and called for a special meeting on the security situation. Speaking on Europe-1 radio, a government spokesman urged protesters to return to the negotiating table.

Paris has refused to bow to strikers' demands for a $250 monthly pay raise for low-wage workers. Residents of Guadeloupe have been protesting the high cost of food and fuel imports for nearly a month.

The unrest has also spread to the French island of Martinique. Salaries on both islands are lower than in mainland France, while their unemployment rates are higher.

Similar protests have taken place in the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, also a French territory. There are fears the protests could spread to France's other overseas territories or to France itself.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called for a government body to review the country's policies toward its overseas territories.

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

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