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4 dead in riots in New Caledonia; France declares a state of emergency

France declared a state of emergency on the Pacific island of New Caledonia on Wednesday after three young Kanak natives and a police officer were killed in riots over electoral reforms.

The state of emergency, which came into effect at 5 a.m. local time (6 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time), gives authorities additional powers to ban gatherings and ban people from moving around the French-ruled island.

Police reinforcements, with 500 officers on top of the 1,800 usually on the island, have been sent after rioters set fire to vehicles and businesses and looted shops.

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