Print | Email  

Blaze claim made

Last updated: 2004-08-23

Paris Centre destroyed

Paris Centre destroyed

French authorities are studying a claim of responsibility by a previously unknown Islamic group for a fire Sunday that destroyed a Jewish community centre in Paris.

A statement posted on an Islamic website Monday, said a group calling itself Jamaat Ansar Al-Jihad al Islamiya was responsible for the attack. The statement called the action retaliation for the defiling of Muslim cemeteries in France and other anti-Muslim acts outside the country.

French President Jacques Chirac condemned the destruction of the center, and officials say those responsible face 20-year sentences if convicted.

France has suffered a wave of anti-Semitic violence in recent years, coinciding with rising tensions in the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Story supplied by: VOAnews