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France Arrests 8 Suspects in Tunisia Blast

November 06, 2002|From Reuters

PARIS — French intelligence agents arrested eight suspects Tuesday in the bombing of a Tunisian synagogue that killed 21 people in April, the Interior Ministry said.

Al Qaeda, the terrorist network the U.S. blames for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, claimed responsibility for the tanker truck explosion, which occurred outside the Ghriba synagogue on the southern Tunisian island of Djerba.

Documents seized during the arrests in suburbs of Lyon appear to directly link the suspects and the April 11 bombing, the Interior Ministry said.

French judicial sources said those arrested included friends and family of the 24-year-old truck driver, who was among those killed in the bombing, which authorities called a suicide attack.

Fourteen Germans, five Tunisians and a Frenchman were also killed when the tanker truck containing cooking gas exploded near the synagogue.

The Interior Ministry said France's leading anti-terrorist judge, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, had requested a probe into relatives of the driver, Nizar Nouar.

Judicial sources said Nouar's father, mother, brother and brother-in-law, as well as friends of the family, were among those arrested. An uncle was arrested in Tunisia.

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