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Hackers hit website of French defence ministry

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Hackers hit website of French defence ministry
Protesters angry over the death of an activist in clashes with police have targeted France's ministry of defence website. Photo: Pascal Pavani/AFP
08:30 CET+01:00
Internet activists launched an attack on the website of the French defence ministry on Tuesday to protest the death of a young environmentalist during clashes with police last year.

"The site has been disrupted all day," a ministry of defence spokesman told AFP, adding that they suspected a "denial of service" attack where a system is flooded with information in an effort to clog it up.

The site was not breached and there were no security concerns, the ministry stressed. An inquiry has been launched.

The Anonymous group said it has launched the attack to "avenge" the death of Remi Fraisse, a 21-year-old protester who died during violent clashes over a controversial dam project in southwestern France.

Investigations into the case suggest he may have been killed by a police concussion grenade.

"For too long, Anonymous has lain stagnant. We have not taken action. But, now, we will. We will protest the killing of this young man," the activists said in a statement.

"Today, we take action against the inhuman things done to Remi and other protesters around the world," they added.

Fraisse's death in the protest -- the first such tragedy in mainland France in nearly three decades -- caused an outcry in the country and embarrassed the government, which was accused of not reacting quickly enough.

Local authorities subsequently decided to suspend work on the dam, though they have not scrapped it indefinitely.

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