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Five charged in France for 'anti-Semitic' attack on family

Des voitures de police près d'un marché de Noël de Potsdam, près de Berlin, après la découverte d'un explosif, le 1er décembre 2017
Christian Pörschmann (dpa/AFP)
During the attack, the gang reputedly told the family 'You're Jewish, so you have money'

Four men and one woman were Friday charged in France over a brutal attack on a Jewish family in a Paris suburb that has been referred to as 'anti-Semitic' by prosecutors, judicial sources said.

One man of 50, reportedly already known to police, three younger men and a 19-year-old woman allegedly took part in the September 8 assault at Livry-Gargan, northeast of Paris.

The group are accused of armed robbery and extortion and religiously-motivated assault.

After breaking into the home of 78-year-old Roger Pinto, the group confined Pinto, the chairman of a local Jewish association, and his wife and son. They were beaten and then threatened with death.

The wife managed to free herself a few hours later.

During the attack, the gang reputedly told the family "You're Jewish, so you have money," having discovered some personal possessions indicating their faith.

The family members told the police that the attackers stole their credit cards and jewellery and further threatened to kill them, reported the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

After the attack, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb blasted what he called a "hateful" assault which "appears to be directly linked to the victims' religion."

The CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities and the National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism said the incident was an anti-Semitic attack.

Judicial sources said the gang were fingered after investigators sifted video surveillance footage and found traces of their DNA at the property

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