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Interior Minister visits Poitiers in wake of violence

French Minister of the Interior Brice Hortefeux (pictured) heads to Poitiers on Monday following violent anti-prison demonstrations that erupted on Saturday near a street performance festival in the city centre.

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French Minister of the Interior Brice Hortefeux heads to Poitiers on Monday following violent anti-prison demonstrations that erupted on Saturday near a street performance festival.

Hortefeux will meet with local shopkeepers whose properties were harmed in the incidents, which resulted in no injuries.

17 people were placed in custody in the wake of the violence, three of whom are accused of armed assault against policemen. According to the police, approximately 250 protestors -- many of them masked and hooded -- descended on the Poitiers town centre Saturday afternoon, breaking about 20 storefront windows and damaging bus stations and telephone booths.

Several blogs report that the demonstration had been organised to protest the transfer of prisoners from the city’s old prison to a new one.

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