Doubts arise over anti-Semitic attack

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

PARIS -- Police patrolled suburban trains on Monday and studied video from surveillance cameras, trying to track down six men who allegedly attacked a young mother and scrawled swastikas on her stomach.

But doubts surfaced about whether the attack, which stunned France, had actually occurred.

A 23-year-old mother told police that she was robbed by a knife-wielding gang of six young men while riding a train with her infant Friday morning. She claimed to have been mistreated after being mistaken for a Jew.

Investigators trying to track down the culprits had almost no clues to guide them. Surveillance cameras at the station where the culprits reportedly left the train showed no young men running from the scene, and no witnesses have come forward.

Despite the doubts, officials continued to issue statements of shock and calls to fight anti-Semitism and passiveness by bystanders.

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