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Thursday 21 August 2014

Holiday homes bombed on island

Published 08/12/2012 | 11:39

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Corsica adopted its own constitution in the 18th-century, before it was taken over by the French

A man has been shot dead and several houses have been bombed on the French island of Corsica.

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The wave of attacks on Friday night comes after a series of killings this year that has outraged France and prompted the government to vow to stamp out the violence that has been allowed to simmer on the island.

The Paris prosecutor's office said it is investigating the series of explosions, including their possible links to terrorist or criminal organisations. The office said at least 17 holiday homes were attacked last night; no one was hurt.

French media reported as many as 24 homes were targeted.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls said a man was arrested in possession of explosives yesterday. It was not clear if he was suspected in the bombings.

In a separate incident a man was shot dead on the island. Corsica has seen more than a dozen such murders this year, apparently carried out by criminal gangs.

But the violence - well known to residents - recently burst onto the national scene with the killings of a prominent businessman and defence lawyer. The government vowed to restore order, and Valls said yesterday's arrest was proof those efforts were bearing fruit.

But the wave of bombings is sure to increase the pressure even further and could arouse suspicions that the home-grown nationalist movement is radicalising again. Twenty years ago, the island was the scene of dozens of bombings, most of them linked to the movement, which has fought for Corsica's distinct language and culture since the island was taken over by the French under Napoleon in 1796.

Today marks the anniversary of the adoption of the island's 18th-century constitution and is celebrated by some as the island's national day.

Press Association

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