France has decided to disband a previously little known intelligence unit attached to its ministry of overseas territories.
This has been disclosed by the junior minister, Christian Estrosi, in a weekend interview with a Paris newspaper.
Mr Estrosi says the contract of the general in charge of the ministry's military unit expired at the end of December and after consulting the president, the prime minister and the defence ministry, the unit has been disbanded.
He says the intelligence unit was set up in 1959 and to gather information about politicians as well as journalists on the ministry's behalf.
Mr Estrosi also says he envisages a reorganisation of the ministry to streamline its functions.