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Bomb damages American dormitory on Paris university campus

February 3, 1997

PARIS (AP) _ A bomb exploded before dawn Monday at a student dormitory in Paris, jolting awake its predominantly American clientele and shattering glass in the building’s entry. There were no injuries.

The bomb was made from a gas canister the size of a fire extinguisher, police said. It exploded on the dorm’s front steps, ripping up part of the concrete stairs, damaging a wooden atrium and shaking off sections of the lobby’s ceiling.

``It was a terrible sound. It woke me up. I was very afraid when I heard it,″ said Kalisa Gary, a 20-year-old French literature student from Chicago. ``That’s one of my biggest fears. I heard a lot about metro bombings.″

Earlier reports had said the explosion was caused by a more powerful 28-pound canister of gas, like that used in a Paris subway bombing in December that killed four people.

University authorities said they were checking identification and allowing only residents inside the building, which houses about 270 students, 60 percent of them American.

``I don’t understand it,″ said Clementina Spinosa, a 20-year-old international relations student from Red Hill, Pa.

``Everybody’s worried about what’s going to happen,″ she said, but added that she knew of nobody who planned to leave. ``I’m not going anywhere.″

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the explosion at the pavilion, located on a wooded site in southern Paris that houses international students and is known as the Cite Universitaire.

A university security official refused to say whether any threats had been received.

Gas canisters filled with nails and bolts were detonated throughout France last year in a deadly wave of attacks claimed by Algerian Muslim militants fighting an insurgency in their homeland.

The same ingredients were found in the Paris subway blast two months ago, but no nails or other potential projectiles were found in Monday’s blast. The Cite Universitaire is two stops down the same train line as the December bombing at the Port Royal station.

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