France boosts security at religious sites

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PARIS (AP) – France is boosting security at Jewish and other religious sites after blanks were fired at a synagogue and police accused a suspected cell of radical Islamists of ties to a grenade attack on a kosher grocery.

President Francois Hollande sought to allay tensions between Jews and Muslims following a series of violent incidents in the country.

Hollande singled out hateful extremists for criticism and urged respect for all religions in a country that is officially secular, but which has Western Europe’s largest Jewish and Muslim communities.

Hollande said authorities should show “intransigence” toward racism and anti-Semitism, warning that “Any act, any remark will be prosecuted with the greatest firmness.”

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