Scene in Toulouse
Jewish student from Ozar Hatorah attacked
Lyon Jewish student falls prey to verbal insults, physical abuse; CRIF 'concerned by another development in anti-Semitism in France'

A 17-year-old student from the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse was the victim of a violent train attack on Wednesday night in Lyon, according to a statement by the French Interior Ministry released Thursday.


Ozar Hatorah school was the scene of a deadly attack, in March by al-Qaeda sympathizing gunman Mohammed Merah, who claimed the four Jews, three of them children.


The victim, who wore identifiable religious symbols, was subjected to verbal insults in the train the first instance, according to the official announcement, which continued: "The teenager was then attacked in the platform toilets by two individuals who beat him up."


The attack was halted by the intervention of a passenger, as well as a train controller.


The victim immediately lodged a complaint with the Lyon authorities and "identities of both perpetrators are now known thanks to the actions of the railroad police," according to the statement which also committed to "fighting the resurgence of the evil of anti-Semitism," which signify "a slight to the history and values of the French Republic."


According to a source close to the investigation in Lyon, neither of the accused had been summoned for questioning on Thursday morning, having been caught by the train’s controller.


Having filed the complaint, the youth went on to rejoin his family in Lyon. After the initial stage of the investigation was completed, it emerged that the victim was pounced on after both suspects noticed a religious chain around his neck, according to the official details released by the Interior Ministry, which added that "such acts of extreme violence are unacceptable."


CRIF, the umbrella representative group of French Jewry, underlined that the latest attack on a young Jewish student "is another development in the worrying trend of anti-Semitism in our country."


"The number of incidents is continuing to increase, the violence of the acts likewise, as if the murders committed by Mohamed Merad had released the impulse to act," CRIF said in a statement.


"It is always identifiable Jews that are the victims of these attacks. To combat anti-Semitism in France, you have to call it by its proper name and acknowledge the factors that increase it. And we have to make its eradication a national political cause."


The CRIF said it hoped that the perpetrators will be subjected to appropriate punishment.


AFP contributed to this report





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