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France's biggest group of squatters ejected

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Photo: Thomas Bregardis/AFP
12:58 CET+01:00
Law enforcement officials on Tuesday expelled close to 200 squatting immigrants from a former retirement home near Rennes, the capital of the Brittany region.

The building in Pacé was occupied by the largest number of squatters in France, according to media reports.

The home was “requisitioned” back in May by a group called DAL, an association for the right to housing.

The police operation began early in the morning at the Residence du Parc before reinforcements arrived at 6 am with vehicles, gendarmes and fire fighters.

The road was closed to traffic while the squatters were rounded up.

According to DAL, more than 70 children were living in the building of 15 different nationalities.

Most of them were Mongols, Armenians and Georgians, AFP reported.

Officials said each of the squatters was given bus tickets to the prefecture, the local administrative headquarters, where arrangements were being made to find housing for the 200 people.

There will be “no-one left on the street,” the local government said.

The former retirement home, with 2,300 square metres of living space, was closed in September 2011.

The building was proposed as welcome centre for asylum seekers by a social housing group which owns the property and sought legal approval for the expulsion of the squatters.

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