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Tuesday, 5 November, 2002, 17:56 GMT
France holds Tunisia bomb suspects
El-Ghriba synagogue
At least 19 people died in the attack on el-Ghriba
Eight people have been arrested in France over a suspected al-Qaeda suicide attack outside a Tunisian synagogue, in which at least 19 people died.

They were detained in the Lyon region by French intelligence agents, the French Interior Ministry announced.

Reuters news agency quoted French judicial sources as saying six of the suspects were connected to the driver of a tanker truck which exploded outside the ancient Ghriba synagogue in April.

Shortly after the attack, an Arabic newspaper published a letter purportedly from a spokesman for Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network which said the organisation was behind the bombing.

An Interior Ministry statement said documents seized at the time of the arrests seemed to link the eight suspects to the attack.

Investigation call

It said France's leading anti-terror judge, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, had ordered a probe into Tunisian truck driver Nizar Nawar's relatives.

The judicial sources said six of the suspects were the mother, father, brother, brother-in-law and friends of Mr Nawar.

He was aided by a relative, and is believed to have died in the blast.

Eleven German tourists, four Tunisians and a French person were among those killed.

Initially, the Tunisian Government said the blast was an accident but later confirmed the attack was "a premeditated criminal act".

German officials have said there was evidence al-Qaeda was involved in the bombing.

The organisation is widely blamed for carrying out the 11 September attacks on America.


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23 Jun 02 | Middle East
23 Apr 02 | Middle East
22 Apr 02 | Middle East
18 May 02 | Middle East
02 Nov 02 | Country profiles
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