BREAKING NEWS

France sends scores of Gypsies back to Romania

PARIS  — France has expelled nearly 100 Gypsies, or Roma, to their native Romania as part of a very public effort by conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy to dismantle Roma camps and sweep them out of the country, the Immigration Ministry said.

France chartered a flight to Bucharest, which left from the southeastern city of Lyon on Thursday with 79 Roma aboard, Immigration Ministry officials said. However, Romanian border police official Cristian Ene, at Bucharest's Aurel Vlaicu airport, said only 61 people were aboard. The French Immigration Ministry was unable to immediately explain the discrepancy.

Fourteen other people were repatriated to Romania aboard a commercial flight from the Paris region earlier in the day, the French officials said, adding that another Romania-bound repatriation flight was expected Friday. Additional flights were scheduled for later this month and September, Romania's Foreign Ministry said.

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