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Bretons Meet To Denounce Violence

May 9, 2000

RENNES, France (AP) _ More than 2,000 Bretons gathered outside parliament in the capital of Brittany Monday to denounce growing violence in the western region of France, notably the deadly April bomb attack on a McDonald’s that killed a restaurant employee.

Members of cultural, political and other groups held a minute of silence in memory of Laurence Turbec, 27, killed April 19 when a bomb exploded at the fast food chain where she worked, in the town of Quevert.

The gathering came a day after three Breton nationalists, members of Emgann, meaning ``combat,″ were formally placed under investigation in connection with the Quevert bombing. The bombing came four days after a smaller attack at another Brittany McDonald’s, in Pornic, in which there were no victims. A passerby aborted an attack on a Rennes post office on the day of the Quevert bombing.

The Monday edition of Le Monde said that two other militants, among some dozen detained for questioning, were to be placed under investigation on Tuesday.

The three already under investigation denied any role in the bombings.

The clandestine Revolutionary Breton Army, known as ARB, claimed responsibility for the Pornic attack but denied involvement in the deadly bombing.

On Sunday, Emgann issued a statement denouncing the Quevert bombing and denying links to ARB. Days earlier, Interior Minister Jean-Pierre Chevenement had said that ARB and Emgann are ``nearly the same thing.″

Le Monde, quoting sources close to the investigation, said Monday that, with the arrests, police believe that the inner structure of the network of Breton activitists has been dismantled.

``We must talk. We must make peace,″ noted Celtic singer Alan Stivell told the crowd in Rennes. ``Brittany is life.″

Texts denouncing violence were read in French, Breton and Gallo, a language used in one part of Brittany.

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