Molotov cocktail attack against synagogue in Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK (AFP-EJP)—Attackers threw a Molotov cocktail at a synagogue in the troubled nation of Kyrgyzstan where bloody street protests this spring stoked ethnic tensions, officials said.

Attackers threw a makeshift explosive device at a synagogue in the centre of the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek as the city’s Jews were preparing to celebrate the Jewish New Year on Thursday.

“An explosion took place an hour before people were set to gather in the synagogue,” a member of the Jewish community told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“Bolts and nails were scattered all over during the blast.”

An official with the interior ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the late Thursday attack, adding that no-one was hurt. The makeshift bomb was tossed over a fence and law enforcement officials were now conducting a probe of the incident, the official told AFP.

A predominantly Muslim nation, Kyrgyzstan is home to around 2,000 Jews, 1,500 of whom live in the capital Bishkek.

The ex-Soviet Central Asian nation, which borders China, has been wracked by political chaos and ethnic violence since the toppling of Kurmanbek Bakiyev as president in bloody street protests in April.

The latest attack comes after at least three firebombs were thrown at the Bishkek Chabad Lubavitch synagogue in April. The local Ohr Avner Jewish school temporarily shut its doors as a precaution. An anti-Semitic slogan was also found on the gates of the government’s building following the April unrest.

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