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France sees rise in violence against Jews and Muslims despite drop in racist acts

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France sees rise in violence against Jews and Muslims despite drop in racist acts
Muslims outside the Blue Mosque in Paris. Photo: AFP
09:15 CET+01:00
Racist incidents ranging from vandalism to physical attacks decreased overall in France last year, however there has been a rise in violence targeting Jews and Muslims, an official report said Wednesday.
   
In 2015, following the jihadist attacks of January and November, incidents reported to police including violence, fires and vandalism as well as threats spiked at more than 2,000.
   
Racist incidents declined considerably in 2016, and last year 950 acts were recorded, a drop of 16 percent.
   
However, violent acts targeting minorities increased, from 67 to 72 against Muslims and from 77 to 97 against Jews, the report said.
 
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French boy, aged 8, beaten up for wearing kippa in anti-Semitic attack Photo: AFP   

Monday's attack on the eight-year-old Jewish boy in Sarcelles, north of Paris, prompted a denunciation by President Emmanuel Macron.
   
The ministry's figures for attacks on religious sites painted a mixed picture.
   
For the first time since 2008, such attacks have decreased overall, down 7.5 percent from 2016.
   
Christian sites, the most heavily targeted, saw a 7.5 percent drop to 878 incidents, and attacks on Muslim sites fell 15 percent to 72.
   
But Jewish sites saw a 22 percent spike in attacks -- even though the total number was relatively low at 28.
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