A Jewish teenager was held captive and abused by six men in a Paris suburb where another French Jew was kidnapped and fatally tortured two years ago, police said on Wednesday. However, a spokeswoman for the mayor's office in the suburb of Bagneux said the latest incident, which came to light this week, did not appear to be racially motivated.
"The motive was theft," said Martine Marchand-Prochasson, chief of staff of Mayor Marie-Helene Amiable.
Bagneux, south of the French capital, hit the headlines in 2006 when a self-styled "gang of barbarians" kidnapped and tortured 23-year-old Ilan Halimi, a French Jew, who died later from his injuries and was buried in Israel.
Twenty-one suspected members of the gang are awaiting trial for his kidnapping and murder.
The French police arrested six suspects in the act. A police official said the words "dirty Jew" were written on the 19-year-old victim's face, but the incident, which took place two weeks ago, was not being treated as having a racial motive.
The attackers were of different racial backgrounds but all lived in the same apartment block, the official said.
Philippe Obadia, president of Bagneux's Jewish community, told Reuters: "It's incredible. We're all shocked." He said the reasons for the attack were unclear.
"We don't know if it's an anti-Semitic attack or a settling of scores, so I would prefer to wait before saying more."