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Protests over Islamic veil ban arrest in France turn violent

July 20, 2013 at 11:21 AM

TRAPPES, France, July 20 (UPI) -- A demonstration in France over the country's ban on Islamic face veils turned violent, with about 250 protesters clashing with police, officials said.

The protest Friday night in the Paris suburb of Trappes was sparked by the arrest of a man who allegedly attacked police after they stopped his wife for wearing a full-face veil, which is illegal in France, France24 reported.

Police fired tear gas at protesters and finally dispersed the crowd at about 3 a.m.

Six protesters were arrested and four police officers were injured.

The Collective Against Islamophobia in France published a statement on its website Saturday calling the actions of the police a sign of the "racism and Islamophobia" that are now "clearly institutionalized and legitimized" in France.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of France's far-right National Front party, blamed the violence Friday on "the rise of a harmful communitarianism exacerbated by mass immigration" in France.

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