A French news agency is reporting that four people were injured on Wednesday after a firebomb
exploded inside a kosher supermarket in Sarcelles (Val d’Oise), a Paris
It is as yet unclear whether the attack is connected to the publication of caricatures
of Mohammed in a French newspaper.
The Sipa news agency says that a small explosion was set off by two hooded individuals dressed in black who entered the store, Naouri Sarcelles, around 10:30 am GMT, citing an unnamed police official and a Jewish organization.
The Naouri market Sarcelles (Photo: Anachinfos.com)
They placed a small package inside the store and fled after throwing a rock through the window, the police official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak publicly about the investigation.
One of the injured was said to be treated for wounds to his arms and legs from the explosion and broken glass. Three others suffered panic attacks.
Sammy Ghozlan, president of the National Bureau of Vigilance against anti-Semitic acts (BNVCAA), said the two assailants, who had their faces covered, threw a "grenade in the supermarket."
Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) President Richard Prasquier related the details of the incident to the media but also had no knowledge of any motive for the attack.
“There was a Molotov cocktail thrown against the store. It happened around noon," Moshe Cohen-Sabban, President of the Jewish communities of Val d’Oise told AFP.
He added: "Many people go to the store at this time of year to stock up for Yom Kippur next week."
Sarcelles, population 60,000, is sometimes called “Little Jerusalem" due to the fact that it houses a large Jewish community.
"It’s unbelievable how easy it is to hurt the Jewish community here. It's very worrying," said Charlie Levy, an owner of a business located not far from the supermarket. "It was supposed to be a busy week, but (the attack) undoubtedly will change the situation."
But he dismissed the possibility of making aliyah.
"Why should we run away?" he pondered. "We haven't done anything wrong. We might be Jews but this is our country, our life is here and we won't be scared away easily. I just don't understand why the police doesn't take more drastic measures against those Muslim rioters."
French media stressed that there was no known connection between the incident and tensions over the publication
of caricatures mocking the Muslim Prophet Mohammed in a French satiric magazine.
The French weekly, Charlie Hebdo, published on Wednesday crude cartoons that played off a US-made anti-Islam film, and ridiculed the violent reaction to it.
France stepped up security at embassies and deployed riot police outside the weekly's offices. The government defended the newspaper's right to publish the caricatures. Authorities and Muslim leaders urged calm in the country, which has the largest Muslim population in western Europe.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said organizers of a demonstration against the film, planned for Saturday, won't receive police authorization.
AFP and AP contributed to the report