Fundamentalists arrested in France

September 01, 1995|By New York Times News Service

PARIS -- Police arrested 20 Muslim fundamentalists yesterday in Lyons and Paris, seizing weapons, fake travel documents and a gas canister like those used in three bombs that have killed seven and wounded scores in Paris.

The police did not tie the arrests to the bombings, but investigators have said that they were pursuing a trail that starts in Algeria, where a radical Islamic group is directing attacks against Paris.

The attacks, bringing echoes of a campaign of terror that shook Paris in 1986 when an Iranian-sponsored group demanded the release of a convicted assassin, include a bomb that exploded in a subway car beneath Place St.-Michel on July 25 and another that went off in a garbage can near the Champs-Elysees on Aug. 17.

A police laboratory examination of a third bomb, found intact Saturday on a railroad track north of Lyons, led to the arrests yesterday, Agence France-Presse reported.

The police did not give details on those arrested yesterday except to say they included French citizens, Algerians and two women.

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