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Violent clashes break out ahead of rally by far-right Le Pen

Associated Press logo Associated Press 8/04/2017
Far-right candidate for the presidential election Marine Le Pen waves during a campaign meeting in Monswiller near Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. A self-described patriot, Le Pen hopes to extract France from the European Union and do away with France's membership in the shared euro currency. The two-round presidential election is set for April 23 and May 7. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias) © The Associated Press Far-right candidate for the presidential election Marine Le Pen waves during a campaign meeting in Monswiller near Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. A self-described patriot, Le Pen hopes to extract France from the European Union and do away with France's membership in the shared euro currency. The two-round presidential election is set for April 23 and May 7. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

PARIS — Violent clashes broke out both inside and outside a venue in the Corsican city of Ajaccio that was supposed to hold a rally by French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

 According to French television BFM TV, Corsican nationalists arrived at Le Pen's rally on Saturday and clashed with her far-right supporters before being evacuated by security. The disturbance delayed the start of Le Pen's program by an hour after it was moved to another venue.

 David Rachline, Le Pen's campaign manager, later tweeted that a separate group had clashed with police outside the venue. He was critical of the security arrangements.

Le Pen is among the leading contenders in France's two-round presidential vote. The top two-vote getters on April 23 will go into a presidential runoff on May 7.

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