France probes 'anti-Semitic' assault in Paris suburb

Image copyright AFP Image caption So far reports about the suspected assailants remain sketchy

French police are investigating an alleged racist assault on two Jewish men, one of whom lost a finger.

The 29-year-old and his brother, aged 17, said they were beaten up on Tuesday in the Paris suburb of Bondy. Their injuries included blows with a hacksaw, French media reported.

The alleged assault happened after the pair, wearing Jewish skullcaps, were forced to stop their car.

Bondy is near Aulnay-sous-Bois, an area hit by anti-police rioting this month.

No suspects have been detained yet in connection with Tuesday's assault.

Bondy is part of Seine-Saint-Denis district, north-east of Paris, where violence erupted earlier this month because of the alleged rape of a young black man by police.

The man, called Theo, left hospital this week after emergency treatment. Violence also rocked some other suburbs.

Seine-Saint-Denis has a high density of immigrants, many of them Muslims. The district suffers from high unemployment and urban deprivation.

A French group combating anti-Semitism, called BNVCA, said the two Jews were racially abused first by two assailants who had followed them in a van. Then by more assailants who joined in the attack outside a shisha bar, BNVCA reported, quoting the victims' father.

Anti-Semitism has been a feature of Islamist attacks in France in recent years. An Islamist gunman killed four people in a Jewish supermarket during the Paris attacks in January 2015, which included the massacre at Charlie Hebdo magazine.

In 2012 a Jewish school was targeted by gunman Mohammed Merah in a shooting spree that left seven people dead in Toulouse and nearby Montauban.


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