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France

Two arrested after anti-Semitic attack on Toulouse Lyon train

media Interior Minister Manuel Valls Reuters/Philippe Laurenson

Two youths have been arrested in Lyon, following an anti-Semitic attack on a 17 year old boy who is a student at the same Ozar Hatorah Jewish school where 3 children were killed by Mohamed Merah in March.

The two young men, aged around 18, were arrested in an army recruitment office, just after 11 o’clock. They are now in police custody.

The attack took place on a train between Toulouse and Lyon on Wednesday evening. The boy was travelling to join his family, when, according to preliminary enquiries, he was insulted because he was wearing a Star of David chain around his neck.

Those who insulted him then punched him repeatedly in the area near the toilets, until they were eventually stopped by a passenger and the train controllers.

The attack was described as “extremely violent” and a statement from the French Interior Ministry said there will be “severe sanctions.”

In June, three Jewish boys wearing Kippahs were attacked in Villeurbanne on the outskirts of Lyon.

After that attack, representatives of France's Jewish community expressed their concern at an upsurge in anti-Semitic attacks since the Mohamed Merah killings.

Statistics demonstrate a 46 per cent increase in such acts and threats in the first four months of 2012, compared to the same period last year, with a significant peak in incidents in the 10 days after the Mohamed Merah killings.

Interior minister Manuel Valls promised re inforced security measures after the Villeurbanne attack and a statement from the ministry today emphasises its determination to combat anti-Semitism, which it labels “an offence against the values and history of our Republic.”
 

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