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Africa

Algeria issues stamp to mark killings in Paris

media The stamp issued by Algeria's post office AFP

Algeria's post office on Monday issued a new stamp to commemorate the massacre on October 17 1961, of Algerian-born people in Paris by French police who were breaking up a protest rally.

The stamp, worth 15 dinars (0.15 euros) shows men beating people to death and throwing bodies into the river Seine, which is red with blood.

Behind them is a bridge from which beaten Algerians are falling, while the Eiffel Tower is in the background in front of a green, white and red flag with Algeria's crescent and star, with the number 50 in red and white.

On October 17, 1961, after a call from Algeria's National Liberation Front, which was fighting at the time for independence from France, between 20,000 and 30,000 muslims from Algeria, including women and children joined a demonstration.

They came from the outskirts of the capital into Paris city centre, to protest against a curfew imposed on them by the police headquarters.

They planned a rally near the Arc de Triomphe, but as the crowd approached the Boulevard Saint-Michel and the Seine, Paris police chief Maurice Papon ordered police to stop the demonstration.

Police apparently waded into the crowd in a hail of blows and bodies were thrown into the river.

The official toll was given as three dead, including two Algerians, but historians have said that up to several hundred were killed, and the police archives on the matter remain closed.

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