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French police charge suspects in murder of Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll

French police charge suspects in murder of Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll”

The body of 85-year-old Mireille K. had been found after a fire broke out in her apartment in Paris's 11th District on Friday evening and an autopsy soon revealed the presence of 11 stab wounds leading investigators to believe she had been murdered, L'Express reports.

A French Jewish woman who escaped the Holocaust was brutally stabbed and burned in what prosecutors are calling an anti-Semitic attack. The flat was then set ablaze in an apparent attempt to cover up the murder.

He also said that antisemitism was rampant and increasing in popular neighborhoods, including the one where Knoll was living.

"We are really in shock", her son told AFP.

One of the suspects was a long-time neighbor who recently finished a jail sentence for a sex offense, the victim's son Daniel Knoll told i24 News, an Israeli channel.

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In a statement, the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) condemned the "barbarity of this murder" and urged transparency from the authorities so "the reasons for this barbaric crime are known to all as soon as possible". "Of course there were unsafe Muslim extremists, but until today I didn't feel in danger", her son said.

"The awful thing is that one of the attackers told the other: "She's a Jew, she must have money", Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told parliament on Tuesday.

A French police source said that one of the suspects had a previous conviction for molesting a 12-year-old girl, BBC reported Monday.

As a child, Mrs Knoll escaped the 1942 roundup of more than 13,000 Jews by French police in Paris, who were detained at the Vél d'Hiv cycling track before being handed over to the Nazis and sent to death camps.

The killing has sparked an outcry, with French-Jewish organizations calling for a march in Knoll's memory on Wednesday and saying officials have to be transparent in their investigation. Her husband, who died in 2000, had survived Auschwitz.

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Almost 8,000 French Jews emigrated to Israel in the wake of the supermarket attack, in which an employee and three customers were shot dead by an Islamist gunman, The Local reports.

Knoll's murder comes a month after a judge confirmed that the April 2017 killing of Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old Orthodox Jewish woman, was motivated by anti-Semitism.

Four years later, an associate of the two brothers who massacred a group of cartoonists at satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo killed four people in a hostage-taking at a Jewish supermarket in Paris.

According to Paris prosecutors, the victim, Mireille Knoll, suffered from severe arthritis and could hardly move.

But she adds that there's still "much more that needs to be done" to ensure the safety and security of Jewish people.

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