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French PM Puts Off Canadian Visit as Paris Area Riots Spread


French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has postponed a planned visit to Canada, after rioting that began outside Paris last week spread through the city's largely Muslim-inhabited suburbs.

Mr. de Villepin told lawmakers Wednesday the government is fully mobilized and that he is indefinitely postponing his planned trip. Interior Minister Nikolas Sarkozy also canceled scheduled visits to Afghanistan and Pakistan next week.

Earlier, President Jacques Chirac called for calm and measures to bring the riots under control.

French police today said they detained 34 people in the sixth consecutive night of rioting. Rioters torched cars and clashed with police who fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.

The violence began Thursday in the Parisian suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, after two teenagers said to be of North African descent were electrocuted while hiding from police inside a power station.

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