Vigilantes Burn Roma Camp in Marseille, France
A group of vigilantes have evicted a group of Roma (Gypsies) from a Marseille housing estate and burnt down their camp, French media report.
There were no reports of violence when the 35 Roma people were forced out of the city’s Creneaux estate.
Furniture and other items were set on fire at the camp, which was erected on wasteland at the beginning of the week.
Residents had reportedly complained to their mayor, blaming the Roma for burglaries in the area.
Caroline Godard, a member of a Roma rights group called Rencontres Tsiganes, said she was “horrified” by news of the expulsion, Le Monde newspaper reports.
It appears that residents went to the authorities on Thursday morning, before the vigilantes took the law into their own hands.
Marseille has a recent history of tension between residents and Roma who have set up camps there, often just tents erected on patches of bare ground.
The 15th arrondissement of the southern port city, where the Creneaux estate is located, is one of its poorest districts, with a large immigrant population.
At 19:30 (17:30 GMT) on Thursday, a group of about 30 vigilantes ordered the Roma to leave.
By the time police arrived in Creneaux, they found the Roma leaving and no evidence of any violence, a source close to the inquiry told Le Monde.
Roma camps have seen around Marseille
Officers were only able to record the incident without reporting any crime, according to La Provence newspaper. However, images from the scene clearly show property being burnt.