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2 Militants on Trial for 1995 Blasts in Paris

October 02, 2002|From Associated Press

PARIS — Two Islamic militants went on trial Tuesday in connection with subway bombings in Paris that killed eight people and wounded about 200 more in 1995.

Boualem Bensaid and Smain Ait Ali Belkacem, members of the Algerian insurgency movement the Armed Islamic Group, face life imprisonment if convicted.

The suspects, both 34, are already serving prison sentences for earlier convictions related to the attacks, but this is their first trial for the bombings.

Bensaid is accused of placing a bomb on a train at the St. Michel subway stop on July 25, 1995, killing eight people and injuring about 150. He is charged with murder, attempted murder and destruction with explosives.

He is also charged with attempted murder for an Oct. 6, 1995, attack at the Maison Blanche stop that injured 18 people and with complicity in an attack two weeks later at the Musee d'Orsay station.

Belkacem, the network's alleged bomb expert, is accused of attempted murder in the Musee d'Orsay attack, which injured 27.

Bensaid and Belkacem were convicted and sentenced to 10 years in 1999.

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