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Jewish centre destroyed

Last updated: 2004-08-22

anti-Semitic grafitti

anti-Semitic grafitti

French authorities say arson is suspected in an overnight fire that destroyed a Jewish community centre in Paris.

No one was hurt in the blaze, which firemen battled in the predawn hours Sunday.

French officials said they suspect the fire was deliberately set, because anti-Semitic grafitti were found at the scene.

President Jacques Chirac condemned the destruction of the centre and said his government is determined to find those responsible.

France has Europe's largest Jewish and Muslim communities. A wave of anti-Semitic violence during the past few years has coincided with rising tensions in the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some of the attacks have been blamed on young Muslims in France.

Story supplied by: VOAnews