PARIS (AP) — France's interior minister has condemned the desecration of a prominent Jewish memorial plaque near Paris by unknown vandals as "cowardly and odious."

Gerard Collomb said the plaque in homage to Ilan Halimi, a French Jew murdered in 2006, was pulled off, thrown on the ground and covered with anti-Semitic writing.

Collomb noted that the plaque had previously been vandalized in 2015.

France's leading Jewish group, CRIF, said that this latest event highlights the country's persistent anti-Semitism.

Halimi was held and tortured for three weeks before being murdered in a suburb of Paris by a French criminal gang.