Organisers of anti-Semite march in Paris probed

29th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 29, 2006 (AFP) - French police opened an investigation Monday after suspected members of a black extremist group marched through a Jewish quarter in central Paris shouting anti-Semitic slogans at the weekend.

PARIS, May 29, 2006 (AFP) - French police opened an investigation Monday after suspected members of a black extremist group marched through a Jewish quarter in central Paris shouting anti-Semitic slogans at the weekend.

Police quickly broke up the march, which took place early Sunday evening in the historic Marais neighborhood, running identity checks on 19 people none of whom were armed. Security has been stepped up in the area.

The French Office of Vigilance against anti-Semitism (BNCVA) issued a statement saying the rally was organised by Tribu K, a black identity group described by police as "extremist", and which Jewish groups want to see banned.

BNCVA said the gang members were "performing Nazi salutes, looking for a fight with the neighbourhood's Jews, threatening and intimidating them". It quoted witnesses as saying they had been shouting "Death to Jews".

"We are in contact with the interior ministry and the police department on the question," the head of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRCIF), Roger Cukierman, told AFP.

The gang's anger appeared to be focused on two hard-line Jewish youth groups, Betar and the Jewish Defence League, according to witnesses.

Several told AFP they had heard the gang call out for the groups' leaders, while the black movement claims on its website to be "hunting" for the two groups.

It accuses them of staging racist attacks on blacks during marches held in tribute to a young Jewish man who was kidnapped for ransom and tortured to death in a French suburb early this year.

BNCVA said the gang was armed with sticks and baseball bats — though this was denied both by police and by independent witnesses.

"They were all tough guys, wearing black bandannas — it was really organised, they had a camera and were filming everybody," one witness told AFP under cover of anonymity.

Sammy Ghozlan of the BNCVA said a similar incident occurred 10 days earlier when a gang burst into a Paris sports club, threatening the young Jews who were training inside.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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