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Fire at Israeli Embassy in Paris

May 23, 2002

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PARIS (AP) _ A fire erupted early Thursday morning at the Israeli Embassy in Paris and dozens of firefighters raced to the scene, police said. There were no reports of injury.

The fire broke out in an unoccupied wing of the embassy that was being renovated, police said. About 50 people in an adjacent building were evacuated.

There was no immediate indication on what caused the blaze and information on damages was available.

Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy also went to the scene of the blaze.

In recent months, synagogues and other Jewish institutions have been targeted for attacks in France.

The attacks have coincided with an escalation in Middle East violence and have heightened tension between French Jews and the country’s large Muslim community. In the most serious case, a Marseille synagogue was burned to the ground on March 31.

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