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1 Killed in Third Mystery Bombing at Marks & Spencer Store in Paris

February 24, 1985|From Times Wire Services

PARIS — A bomb exploded Saturday at the central Paris branch of the British-owned Marks & Spencer department stores--the third mystery bombing of the store in nine years--killing one employee and injuring 14, two seriously, police reported.

The bomb fatally wounded employee Leonard Rochas as he was opening the rear doors at 9:30 a.m. Flying glass from shattered store windows caused most of the injuries, and some victims suffered burns, authorities said.

Several groups claimed responsibility for the bombing, which occurred exactly nine years after the first attack on the store. But police said they were not taking seriously the claims, which were made in telephone calls and contained no specific information.

The anonymous callers included the Fatah Revolutionary Commando, a group reputed to be led by Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal, and Direct Action, a French terrorist organization.

There were no injuries in the first blast at the store on Feb. 23, 1976, nor in the second one on May 4, 1981. No one claimed responsibility for either of those attacks.

Until July, 1984, when Lord Derek Rayner replaced Lord Marcus Sieff as chairman, the company had been run by three generations of the Marks family, which has strong ties to Israel.

In 1973, Joseph Edward Sieff, then chairman, survived an assassination attempt when a man entered his London home and shot him in the head. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the international terrorist known as Carlos.

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