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A mayor in the south of France has banned clown disguises for a month, starting on Halloween, after several violent incidents involving teenagers dressed as clowns. The ban is in force in Vendargues, a small town near Montpellier.

A decree from Mayor Pierre Dudieuzere said the immediate aim was to prevent any trouble during a Halloween parade on Friday evening. France has seen several assaults recently by youths in clown costumes. In Vendargues, a town with about 6,000 residents, everyone aged 13 or above is now banned from wearing a clown costume or simply wearing clown make-up.

This month French police have arrested more than a dozen teenagers dressed as clowns with weapons, who were frightening passers-by or in some cases beating people up. The incidents appeared to be fuelled by a clown craze on social media.

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