PARIS – Claude Dilain, a Socialist politician who became a leading advocate for France's most troubled and impoverished neighborhoods as mayor of a town at the heart of three weeks of rioting in 2005, has died, officials said. He was 66.
He died at a Paris hospital of complications from a recent heart attack, said Lamya Monkachi, an adviser to Dilain when he was mayor of Clichy-sous-Bois northeast of Paris from 1995 to 2011.
Two teens were electrocuted in a power substation there while hiding from police in 2005 — setting off rioting that exposed discrimination, poverty and crime in many troubled housing projects across France.
The Justice Ministry said Dilain's advocacy will be missed in today's "troubled period" of economic and religious tensions in France.