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France expels "radical" cleric in anti-crime drive

Egyptian Islamist cleric expelled from Paris for 2nd time

France has expelled for a second time an Egyptian Muslim cleric it accused of preaching hate, the ministry of the interior said on Thursday, the latest deportation carried out in a crackdown on crime.

Cleric Ali Ibrahim al-Sudani was deported back to his native Egypt, Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said.

"This individual very recently reappeared on our territory despite an expulsion order in his name, carried out in January," Hortefeux said in a statement of the former imam of the Hamza mosque, at Pantin outside Paris.

"This hate preacher has repeatedly said violently hostile things about the West that are totally against our society's values," he said.

The step comes after President Nicolas Sarkozy announced a drive against crime and illegal immigration, which has been condemned by human rights groups and the opposition.

There has been no comment from Soudany.

Since 2002, France has expelled 125 radical Islamists, including 29 imams and preachers, the statement said. It did not say how Sudani managed to get back into France.