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France pledges to track down and punish mystery drone flyers

media The Invalides, which has been overflown by drones repeatedly, and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

France’s government on Wednesday swore it would find and punish those responsible for drone flights over Paris and several nuclear power stations, following about 10 flights over the capital on Tuesday night.

“The day we find them, the people who are fooling around with this, there will be punishment,” government spokesperson and Agriculture Minister Stéphane Le Foll told France Info radio on Wednesday morning.

Paris police said that about 10 fresh sightings were reported on Tuesday night and one eyewitness reported seeing three or four men pick up a drone in eastern Paris before driving off in a black car.

Flying drones over the capital is banned by law and about 60 drone flights over the city and sensitive sights such as nuclear power stations have been recorded since 5 October.

So far the only person to have been punished is Al Jazeera journalist Tristan Redman, who was fined 1,000 euros this week for flying a drone in the Bois de Boulogne, west of Paris.

Two freelancers working with him were detained but not charged.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called for changes in the law to clamp down on the flights.

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