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Explosion Damages Jewish Welfare Office in Paris, Two Newspapers

A powerful explosion early yesterday seriously damaged the offices of the Funds Social Juif Unifie (FSJU), the central Jewish welfare organization in France. Similar explosions took place at the same time in front of the offices of two right-wing papers, “L’Aurore” and “Minute.” Neither of these publications is directly connected either with Israel or with Jewish affairs.

The explosion which took place in front of the FSJU building shattered windows in an area of several hundred yards, destroyed a number of cars parked in the near vicinity and tore open shutters and doors. The explosion, which took place at 2 A.M. Paris time, was heard in a wide area. A police officer who arrived on the scene shortly after the attack said it was a miracle that no one was killed. The only person slightly injured was the FSJU night watchman, Chaya Sutton, who walked bare footed over glass debris. In addition, he also suffered from nervous shock.

The explosives used against the FSJU building were placed in a small car. Booby-trapped cars were also used at the two other sites. A passerby was injured by debris from the exploding cars in front of “L’Aurore” building. His condition is described as serious. Shortly before the three explosions took place, a woman telephoned the French news agency “AFP” to say that explosions would take place. She did not identify herself or the group responsible for the attack.

An anonymous caller also telephoned the FSJU a few minutes before the explosion took place to warn “the possible occupants of the building.” The night watchman immediately informed the local precinct police station and the FSJU duty officer. The explosion took place before the police managed to reach the site. Early yesterday morning the three Paris streets where the explosions took place resembled the aftermath of a small air raid. Burned out pieces of metal, shattered glass and bricks littered the sidewalks and the road which was closed to traffic.

JEWISH COMMUNITY SHOCKED

Unconfirmed reports said that similar bomb bombs were also found near the premises of the state-owned French television and two private radio stations, “Europe Number One” and “Radio Luxembourg.” Though the two blasted newspapers generally have a pro-Israeli policy, this is not true for the other media.

Police investigators were not prepared to speculate on the identities of the group, or groups responsible for the attacks. A senior police officer told FSJU officials that the police will use all available means to try to identify the perpetrators of the attack. In all three cases, the police, rented cars filled with gas containers and plastic detonators were used. No political group has as yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

The FSJU explosion has caused a severe shock within the local Jewish community.

Throughout the day yesterday, Jewish communities and individuals telephoned or called to express their sympathy. The FSJU is the central fund collecting agency in France for both local needs and for Israel. Two years ago, in Jan. 1972, a bomb exploded in front of the Jewish Agency offices here.

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