12 People Wounded in Bomb Attack on Two Jewish Establishments in Copenhagen

A dozen people were slightly wounded when two bombs exploded Sunday evening, Rosh Hashanah eve, in Copenhagen outside a kosher food store and a travel agency specializing in trips to Israel. Throughout the rest of Western Europe, Jews celebrated Rosh Hashanah without any major incidents.

Denmark’s Chief Rabbi, Bent Melchior, said he did not have the slightest doubt that the Copenhagen bombings were connected with the Jewish New Year and had been set off to coincide with the start of the Rosh Hashanah celebrations.

The two bombs went off Sunday evening just as services were about to begin at the city’s main synagogue. Most of the wounded, treated for cuts and shock, were passersby. None of the wounded was hospitalized.

The two bombs went off in spite of increased police precautions near possible “largets” such as the city’s synagogues, community centers and several air line offices. Danish officials said special security measures were ordered following bomb attacks against the synagogue, an old people’s home and a U.S. airline office in Copenhagen on July 22.

A Shiite Moslem group based in Lebanon, Islamic Jihad, had claimed responsibility for last summer’s attacks. There has been no such claim for the Rosh Hashanah eve bombings.

POLICE TAKE STRONG SECURITY PRECAUTIONS

Police in a dozen countries, throughout the rest of Western Europe, took strong security precautions. Synagogues in France, West Germany, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland were searched by local Jewish security guards before services, and police patrols {SPAN}###tationed in the vicinities nearby. In many instances, traffic near synagogues was interrupted and streets near temples were cordonned off to prevent hit and run attacks such as bomb throwings.{/SPAN}In Paris, close to a dozen police cars were stationed near the Rue Copernic Synagogue where a bomb exploded in autumn 1981 killing four people. Police reports say everything was quiet this year.

In an apparently unrelated incident, a Lebanese-born Palestinian has been charged by Italian police for having thrown two grenades into a Rome cafe on Monday, wounding 38 people, including nine Americans. No group has taken responsibility for the attack and police remain baffled as to the motives for the attack on the Cafe de Paris on Via Veneto.

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