Update Aug 2004: the whole story seems to have been made up by the girl. I’ve deleted my initial reaction, that was honest, but now quite irrelevant.
A group of young men attacked a mother travelling with her child on a Parisian suburban railway, chopping off her hair and drawing swastikas on her stomach in the latest anti-semitic incident to unsettle France.
The attack happened around 9.30 on Friday morning, when the young woman was on a train on the northern outskirts of the capital with her 13-month-old child. A group of six youths, aged between 15 and 20, snatched her bag and rifled through it, seizing on her identity card, printed with her former address in the 16th arrondissment of Paris.
She told police that they shouted: “Only Jews live in the 16th.” The men, who were armed with knives, then pushed her violently, cut off some of her hair, and drew several swastikas on her stomach with a black felt-tip pen. Police said the 23-year-old, whose identity has not been revealed, was not Jewish.
The other passengers in the carriage stood by watching, but none of them came to help her, according to the report she made to the police. Her baby was knocked from its push-chair during the attack, but neither she nor the child was badly hurt. The men left the train with her handbag.
( The Guardian (EN) / Le Monde (FR) )