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Ilan Halimi Memorial Plaque Vandalized in Paris

A memorial plaque honoring Ilan Halimi, a young Jewish man who was kidnapped and tortured to death nearly a decade ago, was vandalized in suburban Paris.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Sunday that the plaque in Bagneux was damaged and an investigation was launched, The Associated Press reported. The plaque was erected in 2011, the French news agency AFP reported.

“It’s outrageous, unacceptable, I am extremely shocked,” the southern Paris suburb’s mayor, Marie-Helene Amiable, told AFP. She called the plaque “a powerful symbol for our town.”

The vandalism was discovered in the wake of an attack Friday on two Jewish men in their early 20s by a pro-Palestinian gang of about 40 people.

The attack took place on the same street, Voltaire Boulevard in Paris’ 11 arrondissement, or district, from where Halimi was abducted. Many Jewish businesses are located there.

Halimi was a 23-year-old French phone salesman who was held captive in Bagneux for more than three weeks. He was found naked and handcuffed on Feb. 13, 2006, with burns on 80 percent of his body and died on his way to the hospital. Halimi had been tortured and starved while the kidnappers negotiated the ransom with his family.

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