Armed Suspect Killed in Attempt to Set Fire to Synagogue in Rouen

Armed Suspect Killed in Attempt to Set Fire to Synagogue in Rouen

A synagogue in Rouen, France was attacked on Friday by an armed attacker (Getty)

French police shot and killed an armed man who was trying to set fire to a synagogue in Rouen on Friday, according to the Interior Ministry.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin confirmed the suspect’s death in a post on X, praising the police officers for their quick response and courage.

Police arrived at the scene at 6.45am after receiving reports of a fire near the synagogue. They found smoke rising from the building and confronted the suspect, who was armed with a knife and an iron bar.

A source close to the investigation told AFP that the man approached the police, who then fired their weapons, resulting in the suspect’s death.

The fire at the synagogue was brought under control, as reported by a Rouen city hall official.

Two separate investigations have been launched, one into the fire at the synagogue and another into the circumstances surrounding the suspect’s death. The National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office is currently assessing whether to take up the case.

Yonathan Arfi, the president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF), condemned the incident as an attempt to intimidate the Jewish community.

The incident in Rouen comes just weeks after an attack on Warsaw’s main synagogue with firebombs, and amidst a sharp rise in anti-Semitism since the start of the Israel-Gaza war, as warned by the Anti-Defamation League.

In France, the number of anti-Semitic attacks increased from 436 in 2022 to 1,676 in 2023, with physical assaults rising from 43 to 85.

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