Man held over prefect car-bombing

21st January 2004, Comments 0 comments

NANTES, France, Jan 21 (AFP) - French police investigating the bombing of the car of the country's only Muslim prefect were holding a boyfriend of his ex-wife Wednesday, and appeared to believe that a private grudge lay behind the crime.

NANTES, France, Jan 21 (AFP) - French police investigating the bombing of the car of the country's only Muslim prefect were holding a boyfriend of his ex-wife Wednesday, and appeared to believe that a private grudge lay behind the crime.

The unnamed man was taken for questioning Tuesday evening in the western city of Nantes, where early Sunday a small explosive device wrecked the Saab belonging to business school head Aissa Dermouche.

Investigators said the man is a former lover of Dermouche's second wife, whom he divorced in 1994. The two men had recently quarrelled, they said.

On Tuesday police revealed that the device placed on the bonnet of the car was of a highly rudimentary nature and equipped with a fuse rather than a timer.

Investigators originally said that far-right extremists or Islamic radicals were the most likely suspects, but by Wednesday no specialist anti-terrorist magistrate had been called in - which would automically follow if there was a clear terrorist lead.

Dermouche, 57, who was born in Algeria, was named last week as governor of the department of Jura near the Swiss border and is to take up his post next month.

The car-bombing provoked condemnation from across the political spectrum, amid fears it was a symptom of increasing tensions with France's five million-strong Muslim community.

© AFP

                                Subject: France news

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