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German TV Crew Attacked During Rightist March

September 5, 1993

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ A member of a German television crew was knocked down and kicked in the face while filming a demonstration by an extreme right Flemish group in southern Belgium, colleagues said.

Alain Schmitz, a Belgian sound engineer, was taken to a hospital with a broken nose, said Gunter Pauls, a journalist working with him for ZDF television.

The crew was attacked on Saturday while filming a march by the rightist Flemish Bloc party in the town of Ronse. A scuffle broke out between the group and its opponents.

Flemish Bloc leader Filip Dewinter denied his supporters were responsible and blamed French-speaking extremists. Pauls said he was unable to tell who attacked his colleagues.

The Flemish Bloc opposes the special rights granted to French speakers in the town, which is in the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders not far from the border with France.

The demonstrators, estimated to number 200-300, also were protesting against Arab immigrants settling in Ronse.

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