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Chirac Vows to End Disturbances, Address Grievances


French President Jacques Chirac says his top priority is ending the two-week-old wave of urban unrest, as he pledged to address the root causes of the violence

The French leader told a Paris news conference Thursday the government will have to respond to problems in largely Muslim-inhabited working class suburbs, which have experienced most of the rioting.

The violence has involved youths of immigrant background who have complained of police harassment, racism and job discrimination.

The violence began October 27 after the accidental deaths of two teenagers of North African descent who thought they were being chased by police.

Police Thursday reported fewer violent incidents in France's metropolitan centers.

Authorities also said they have suspended eight police officers pending investigation into Monday's beating of a young man in a northern suburb of Paris during the disturbances.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.