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Russia's Jews To Ask For Extra Police Near Synagogues

A Russian Jew at Moscow's Hasid Synagogue, site of an attack on worshippers on 11 January (ITAR-TASS) 12 January 2006 - Russia's Federation of Jewish Communities (FEOR) says it will ask the Russian authorities to reinforce security near the country's synagogues.

Speaking the day after a man inflicted knife injuries on an least eight worshippers at a Moscow synagogue, FEOR spokesman Borukh Gorin said that Jewish communities need state support.

Russia's chief rabbi, Berl Lazar, said that the victims of the 11 January attack were still in a state of shock but "they will feel better soon."

"The most important thing for us is what will happen tomorrow, that this should not happen again, that law-enforcement bodies should really take this situation under control and understand that there is a real threat in Russia now, not only for Jews," Lazar said.

Police initially said they had no reason to believe that the attacker -- identified as 20-year-old Moscow resident Aleksandr Koptsev – was linked to any extremist group. However, prosecutor Anatoly Zuyev said on 12 January that investigators had found Nazi literature and regalia in his apartment.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, the Moscow Patriarchate, and the head of Russia’s Roman Catholic community have all condemned the attack.

(ITAR-TASS, RIA Novosti, Interfax)

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