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French Security Chief Condemns Anti-Muslim Acts in Corsica

Demonstrators, most of them angry against Muslim residents, march in Ajaccio, on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015.

France's interior minister is seeking to halt violence in Corsica after protesters vandalized a Muslim prayer room in anger over an ambush of firefighters.

Bernard Cazeneuve, visiting the Corsican city of Ajaccio on Wednesday, told reporters “there is no place in Corsica for violence or racism.” He said he “condemns with the greatest firmness” last week's violence against firefighters and Muslim targets.

An ambush Thursday injured two firefighters in a housing project. The reason for the attack remains unclear.

The next day, hundreds demonstrated against the violence - then a few dozen broke away and tried to burn Qurans in a Muslim prayer room and vandalized a kebab shop.

The incidents on the independence-minded Mediterranean island reflect broader tensions after a string of extremist attacks by angry young French Muslims.