Europe

Paris souvenir-sellers in clashes beneath Eiffel Tower

Man selling copies of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Image caption Police say there will be zero tolerance of illegal hawkers

Clashes have broken out between Paris police and illegal street vendors selling souvenirs of the Eiffel Tower.

Police moved in to evict the salesmen from beneath the monument on Sunday.

Three police were hurt when scuffles erupted and vendors started throwing stones and bottles. About 10 people were arrested.

A senior police official, Jean-Louis Fiamenghi, said: "All street vendors will now be systematically arrested and we will not tolerate these sales."

The vendors had apparently been angered when one of their number was injured by electricity on Friday after fleeing across a railway line to escape a police check.

Police said that the man was improving in hospital and was no longer in danger.

In a crackdown on illegal activity, police have deployed the CRS, the anti-riot brigade, to clear parts of the Champ de Mars, beneath the Eiffel Tower.

French media say the number of vendors - often illegal immigrants from Africa or Eastern Europe - has increased in recent months.

They sell cheap souvenirs including key rings, T-shirts, and the well-known gold or bronze-coloured plastic copies of the Eiffel Tower, often for as little as one euro (90p).