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French police kill 1 in raid linked to market attack

ByREUTERS
October 6, 2012 12:42

Strasbourg police shot dead a suspect as part of investigation into grenade attack on Jewish market in Sarcelles last month.

Police at building in the Esplanade suburb

Jewish market attack raid 370. (photo credit:REUTERS/Vincent Kessler)

STRASBOURG - French police shot dead a suspect during an anti-terrorism raid in the northeastern city of Strasbourg on Saturday that was part of an investigation into a grenade attack last month on a Jewish market, judicial and security sources said.

Elite police units carried out simultaneous operations in the Paris region, in Strasbourg and the Mediterranean cities of Nice and Cannes in the early hours of Saturday, the sources told Reuters. One man was arrested in the Paris region.



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The raids were connected to a Sept. 19 incident in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles in which two men threw a grenade into a Jewish kosher supermarket, wounding one and causing minor damage, security sources said.

The police unit was fired on after entering a fourth-floor apartment at about 6 am in the Esplanade district of Strasbourg and an officer was wounded by shots that hit his bulletproof vest and helmet.

"During an anti-terrorist police operation in Strasbourg..., gunfire was exchanged between police and the suspect. The latter was killed," Strasbourg prosecutor Patrick Poirret said in a statement.

"The group was met with a .357 Magnum (revolver)," said Norbert Georgel, secretary for the region's police union, who said the wounded officer's life was not in danger.

Neighbors told Reuters that a couple had lived in the apartment with their two children for the past four to six months. The man was bearded and the woman wore the Muslim full-face veil, they said.

Reuters could not immediately confirm whether that man was the suspect shot by police.

The French Interior Ministry declined comment.

France's Jewish community has been on edge after a series of attacks in recent months. In the worst incident, three Jewish children and a rabbi were among seven people shot dead in March by an al-Qaida-inspired gunman who had attended a combat-training camp in Afghanistan.

France's left-wing government presented legislation this week that would allow police to arrest those believed to have been involved in terrorism-related activity outside French borders.

French President Francois Hollande is caught between trying to appear tough on crime while holding to campaign promises to help underprivileged immigrant communities where poverty and joblessness have bred alienation and, in some cases according to social workers and police, a turn to radicalism.
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