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News Brief

April 28, 2006
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A leading Russian Jewish group condemned an attack on a Russian synagogue. On April 20, a group of young men suspected of being members of a local neo-Nazi skinhead gang attempted to break into a synagogue in Orenburg, about 800 miles southeast of Moscow, the Federation of Jewish Communities reported this week. The group broke windows, shouted anti-Semitic slogans and painted swastikas on the building, but no one was hurt, according to a spokesman for the federation. Police have opened a criminal investigation, and at least one of the attackers, a 15-year-old, has been detained. Local Jews in Orenburg, however, indicated that police may treat the case as an act of hooliganism and not a hate crime, which carries a stiffer penalty under Russian law. Last month, a man was sentenced to 13 years in prison for stabbing worshippers at a Moscow shul in January, injuring nine.

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