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Paris bans some cars to cut smog

Paris is taking drastic measures to combat its worst air pollution in years, banning around half of the city's cars and trucks from its streets in an attempt to reduce the toxic smog that has shrouded the French capital for more than a week.

Cars with even-numbered licence plates were prohibited from driving in Paris and its suburbs today, following a government decision over the weekend.

Around 700 police were patrolling the morning rush-hour, handing out tickets to offenders. Taxis and commercial vehicles are not covered by the ban.

It is the first time since 1997 that the emergency measure has been taken.

If the pollution persists, odd-numbered vehicles will be banned tomorrow.

Public transport has been made free for a fourth day to help deal with the pollution.

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