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Ten teenagers of Turkish origin were sentenced to 30 hours of community service for attacking a group of Jewish youths in Belgium, officials said Tuesday.
A group of Orthodox Jewish teenagers on a school trip to a former coal mine in the northeastern town of Beringen on Thursday were confronted by youths who threw stones and shouted anti-Semitic slogans.
Police intervened and detained the local youths for a night. They were then sentenced to community service over the year-end holidays, said police spokesman Marc Rubens.
Diane Keyser, secretary general of the Forum of Jewish Organizations, said she was comforted by the swift police response. "It was a serious incident and it was a good approach we saw," she said.
Jozef De Witte, director of Belgium's anti-Racism center, said there were some 60 anti-Semitic incidents reported in Belgium last year and he expected a similar total this year. In a telephone interview he said there had fewer physical attacks but an increase in Internet hate mail.