French Jew seriously hurt in Paris attack

Jewish groups: The assault was motivated by anti-Semitism; police detain five for questioning.

french jews rally 298 (photo credit: AP)
french jews rally 298
(photo credit: AP)
A 17-year-old young man was attacked Saturday evening near the Buttes-Chaumont, in Paris, in what has been denounced as an anti-Semitic attack. According to Raphael Haddad, President of the Union des Etudiants Juifs de France (National Union of Jewish Students), "there is no doubt that the nature of this attack was anti-Semitic". The group said that the 17 year old was wearing a kippa, and walking through a neighborhood where many Jewish families live, when he was beaten Saturday night in eastern Paris. Police said they detained five people for questioning, but were still investigating the reasons for the assault. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, leaving for a visit to Israel later Sunday, as well as the Minister of Interior, Michèle Alliot-Marie, expressed their indignation as well their support towards the family of the victim, who is currently in a coma. Sarkozy issued a statement "renewing total determination to fighting all forms of racism and anti-Semitism." An umbrella organization of French Jewish groups said about 15 people appeared to have ganged up on the boy. It was not immediately clear if any weapons were used. The teenager's father told RTL radio that his son was in a coma. The Paris hospital network said the teenager was in intensive care at the Cochin Hospital in Paris. The family's identity was not released as the teenager is a minor. France has western Europe's largest population of both Jews and Muslims. The nation has faced a surge in anti-Semitic crime in the last decade.