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02.12.2010 International

Malian Dies After French Police Use Taser

By Daily Graphic
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An immigrant from Mali has died after French police shot him twice with a Taser electric stun gun during a fracas.

Police said the 38-year-old man had attacked officers with a hammer at a Paris apartment block after being asked for identity papers.

He was also tear-gassed and struck with a baton, an official added.

French prosecutors have ordered an inquiry to determine the exact cause of death.

However, correspondents say the death will revive controversy over the use of Tasers, which fire darts carrying a 50,000 volt shock.

The incident happened in the early hours of Tuesday when police were called to an argument at an apartment in the Paris suburb of Colombes involving the Malian, who was allegedly staying illegally in France.

When officers tried to check the man's identity papers he 'flipped out' and grabbed a hammer, injuring four officers who chased him, a police source told the French news agency AFP.—BBC

Police, who described the man as overweight, shot him twice with Tasers and used tear gas and a baton to subdue him.

The man was eventually arrested but collapsed as police were bringing him out of the building in a lift, the source said.

Paramedics were unable to revive him.

'From initial reports it seems that, faced with the aggression and violence of this person, police officers were obliged to use an electric charge pistol,' Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said. - AFP—BBC

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