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French President François Hollande has ended more than 50 years of official silence over the massacre by Paris police of an estimated several hundred Algerians demonstrating for their country’s independence from France. “On October 17th 1961, Algerians demonstrating for the right to independence were killed during a bloody repression,” read a brief statement by Hollande. “France recognizes these events with lucidity. Fifty one years after this tragedy, I pay homage to the memory of the victims.” It was the first public recognition by a French president of the killings and was hailed by campaigners and historians who had lobbied for decades for France to assume what was the deadliest act of repression on its own soil since World War II. Lénaïg Bredoux reports.
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