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Feud suspected in deadly French migrant shelter fire

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The fire that claimed the life of a man at a French home for migrant workers was probably linked to a feud between residents, the interior ministry said, ruling out a racist attack.

The fire on Thursday night caused panic at the six-storey block in the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, prompting a man to jump to his death from a third-floor window.

The head of the residents' association, Bakary Cissoko, said the victim was a Malian man in his forties who had been living in the shelter for about four years.

Twelve people were injured in the blaze, which damaged the entrance area and a storage room but did not spread to the rooms. Around 100 people were evacuated.

Traces of fuel and lighter fluid were found at the scene.

"One of the injured is suspected of being the arsonist. He is also a resident. So it was very likely an internal settling of scores," the interior ministry said.

Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve tweeted a message of solidarity with the migrants and vowed that all light would be shed on the incident.

On Friday, authorities cleared another of the migrant camps that keep sprouting up in or around Paris.

Around 300 migrants -- mostly Afghans, Sudanese or Eritreans -- had been living in the tented camp in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis.

The settlement was situated a few hundred metres from a new refugee transit centre set up by Paris city authorities to take asylum-seekers off the streets.

That centre only has space for 400 people at a time.

The fire that claimed the life of a man at a French home for migrant workers was probably linked to a feud between residents, the interior ministry said, ruling out a racist attack.

The fire on Thursday night caused panic at the six-storey block in the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, prompting a man to jump to his death from a third-floor window.

The head of the residents’ association, Bakary Cissoko, said the victim was a Malian man in his forties who had been living in the shelter for about four years.

Twelve people were injured in the blaze, which damaged the entrance area and a storage room but did not spread to the rooms. Around 100 people were evacuated.

Traces of fuel and lighter fluid were found at the scene.

“One of the injured is suspected of being the arsonist. He is also a resident. So it was very likely an internal settling of scores,” the interior ministry said.

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Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve tweeted a message of solidarity with the migrants and vowed that all light would be shed on the incident.

On Friday, authorities cleared another of the migrant camps that keep sprouting up in or around Paris.

Around 300 migrants — mostly Afghans, Sudanese or Eritreans — had been living in the tented camp in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis.

The settlement was situated a few hundred metres from a new refugee transit centre set up by Paris city authorities to take asylum-seekers off the streets.

That centre only has space for 400 people at a time.

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