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France Arrests 8 in Connection with Tunisia Synagogue Attack - 2002-11-05


French police have arrested eight people in connection with an attack on a synagogue in Tunisia earlier this year.

A spokesman for France's Interior Ministry told VOA the people were arrested near the southern French city of Lyon. Among those detained, he said, were the parents and brother of Tunisian Nizar Nawar.

He was identified as the driver of a fuel truck that blew up in April outside a synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The attack on one of the world's oldest synagogues killed 19 people, most of them German and French tourists.

The al-Qaida terrorist network claimed responsibility for the explosion. The group identified Mr. Nawar as the driver, and said he was retaliating against Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

The French Interior Ministry official said no firearms or other weapons were found when Tuesday's arrests were made, but that police seized various documents. News agencies report the documents appear to be linked to the synagogue explosion.

The French government may hold those arrested for up to four days before making formal charges, as part of a judicial investigation into the synagogue blast.

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