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Prefect car-bombing was ‘amateur job’

PARIS, Jan 20 (AFP) – The explosive device that wrecked the car of France’s only Muslim prefect, or departmental governor, was of a highly rudimentary nature, making it likely to have been the work of local delinquents rather than a “terrorist” conspiracy, according to newspaper reports on Tuesday.

Police have concluded that the device was placed on top of the bonnet of Aissa Dermouche’s Saab in the western city of Nantes early on Sunday – not inside as previously thought – and had a simple fuse rather than a timer, Le Figaro newspaper reported.

It was therefore probable the perpetrators lit the fuse and fled just before the explosion took place.

Investigators have said they are keeping an open mind about who was responsible, with far-right extremists and Islamic radicals the two main lines of enquiry.

Dermouche, 57, an Algerian-born business school director, was named last week as governor of the department of Jura near the Swiss border and is to take up his post next month.

His nomination came at a time of growing tension over France’s five-million strong Muslim community. A proposed law banning the Islamic headscarf from the classroom is seen by many Muslims as an act of discrimination.


                                Subject: France news