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1962: Eight die in Paris riot
At least eight people have been killed during a demonstration in Paris against the recent wave of bomb attacks in the French capital.

One of the dead was a 15-year-old boy.

About 240 people were injured - more than half of them police officers.

The protest, which was banned under the State of Emergency currently in force in Paris, was organised by France's main communist-led union.

It is one of the groups spearheading the fight against the right-wing Secret Army Organisation (OAS) which wants Algeria in north Africa to remain a French colony.

Police lashed out

During the three-and-a-half hour disturbances the police were outnumbered two to one by the 20,000-strong protesters.

The officers were at first reportedly relatively restrained but they lashed out as they came under attack from demonstrators.

In one incident a police van was ambushed and a policeman fired five shots into the crowd.

Several people were said to have received gunshot wounds but no shooting fatalities have been reported.

It is believed those who died during the disturbances were trampled underfoot in the crush.

Referendum

However, while the police were busy trying to quell the anti-OAS rally some of the group's agents planted more bombs in the city.

One device went off outside the offices of Tass, the Russian news agency - the first time a foreign media organisation has been targeted.

The bombing campaign is believed to be a response to French President Charles de Gaulle's declaration that it is up to Algerians to decide the fate of their country.

General de Gaulle has proposed a referendum on the issue.

The OAS was set up last year and is led by former French army general Raoul Salan.

Many of its agents are believed to be former army personnel who served in Algeria.

Last year members of the group were believed to be behind an attempt to assassinate General de Gaulle.

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Algeria in 1956 during the civil war
The OAS want Algeria to remain French



In Context
A one-hour strike was called the following day in protest at police behaviour during the demonstration.

In March 1962 General de Gaulle reached agreement with Algerian nationalists to give Algeria independence.

The OAS made several more unsuccessful attempts to kill General de Gaulle.

General Salan was captured and jailed in April 1962 and the OAS collapsed.

In 1963 a former general in the French army, Antoine Argoud, stood trial for the assassination attempt on President de Gaulle and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

However, he was released, along with other former OAS members, during a general amnesty in May 1968.

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