Some 700 people have been removed from more than 40 illegal Roma (Gypsy) camps in France as part of a police crackdown backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The country's Interior Minister, Brice Hortefeux, said the Roma would be returned to their country of origin on "specially chartered flights".
Meanwhile, members of a committee of UN experts sharply criticised France's treatment of Roma.
They said racism and xenophobia were undergoing a "significant resurgence".
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