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Blast Damages Colombian Synagogue

The Beth-El Synagogue, in the coastal Colombian city of Barranquilla, was damaged by an explosive device which detonated only hours after Friday night services ended, the World Jewish Congress reported today.

According to the Confederacion de Asociaciones Judias de Colombia, the central representative body of Colombian Jewry and the WJC affiliate here, the explosion occurred early last month shortly after Sabbath eve services attended by some 150 persons. Despite property damage, there were no civilian casualties.

Reporting on the incident, Edgardo Gorenberg, acting undersecretary of the Latin American branch of the WJC, said the force of the explosion had blown a hole in the roof of the synagogue one meter in diameter. According to the authorities, this was an isolated incident with no group or person having claimed responsibility for the bombing. Gorenberg said he know of no telephone calls or messages made by the perpetrators in connection with the attack.

NOT THE FIRST VIOLENT ANTI-SEMITIC ACT

In a speech made at the synagogue, the president of the local Jewish communal fund, Daniel Arman, noted that this was not the first act of anti-Semitic violence in the country. He referred to recent incidents in Bogota, particularly vandalism of the Medellin synagogue there and an attempt against the residence of the Israeli Ambassador.

In an advertisement taken out in the local press, the Jewish community of the city expressed its thanks to the civil, military and religious authorities for the expression of their support and solidarity against “the attack perpetrated against our temple.”

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