Homage to Algerian demonstrators massacredby Paris police in 1961

18th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

ALGIERS, Oct 17 (AFP) - Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika paid homage Sunday to the Algerians in France who were the subject of a brutal police crackdown in Paris in 1961.

ALGIERS, Oct 17 (AFP) - Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika paid homage Sunday to the Algerians in France who were the subject of a brutal police crackdown in Paris in 1961.  

Algeria "will always remember the patriotism and sacrifice which the emigrants showed to express, loud and clear, their unstinting loyalty to the cause of their people, paying a heavy price for it by enduring repression, torture and killings," Bouteflika said in a message to Algerian emigrants.  

He added that the events of October 17, 1961, when police killed dozens of Algerian protesters - some witnesses spoke of 200 - "will remain alive in our minds and in the collective memory of our people."  

In Paris on Saturday, around 200 people gathered at the Saint Michel bridge over the Seine to commemorate the deaths, which occurred when police cracked down on demonstrations against a curfew imposed by then police chief Maurice Papon.  

Many of the dead were thrown into the Seine.  

"The commemoration of the date of this glorious struggle is the least that the Algerian nation can do in terms of recognizing the heroic example of sacrifice given by our community during the colonial period," Bouteflika said.  

He said Algerians in France had participated "in a pioneering way in the national resistance and the emergence of the national movement that sparked the glorious armed revolution of which we are preparing to mark the 50th anniversary."  

Algeria's bloody war of independence from France, launched on October 31, 1954, lasted nearly nine years, claiming an estimated 100,000 French and one million Algerian lives.  

A significant number of France's estimated five million-strong Muslim population come from Algeria, which was a French colony for 132 years.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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