Blast at French Muslim prefect's school

A business school run by one of France's first Muslim departmental governors was rocked by a minor explosion on Sunday but there were no injuries, officials said.

    Dermouche's car was damaged in an explosion last week

    Windows were broken and the door damaged at the Audencia school in Nantes, run by 57-year-old Aissa Dermouche - the Algerian-born

    director of the management school and the new top administrator for the eastern French department of Jura.

    Dermouche immediately went to the scene and a probe has been launched.

    The explosive device used in the blast was "not very sophisticated", a source close to the probe said.

    Last week, the car belonging to Dermouche was destroyed by an explosive device.

    Dermouche, who came to France at the age of 18, is the first departmental governor, or prefect, from the generation that immigrated from

    North Africa in the 1960s.

    Earlier attack

    The attack on Dermouche's (R) 
    car was widely condemned

    The handful of previous Muslim prefects started their civil service careers before 1962 when Algeria was still a part of France.

    His nomination 10 days ago came at a time of growing concern over how to integrate the five million-strong Muslim community in France

    amid moves by the government to ban Islamic headscarves and other religious insignia in schools.

    Last Sunday's attack on Dermouche's car provoked condemnation from across the political spectum, amid fears it was a symptom of

    increasing tensions with the Muslim community.

    No one was hurt in that attack, which took place before dawn.

    Police have been looking into the possibility that the attack on Dermouche's car was the result of a private grudge rather than an act of

    Islamist or far-right terrorism, but no motive has been ruled out.

    SOURCE: AFP


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