Plea for calm as second synagogue attacked

BRUSSELS - An Antwerp synagogue was attacked early on Wednesday when two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the building. The attack comes days after a similar incident in Brussels.

The missiles burned out on the pavement and damage to the synagogue in Antwerp was minimal.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The neighbourhood was regularly patrolled by police, but the attackers have not been found.

At an emergency meeting Antwerp police decided to step up patrols in neighbourhoods popular with Jewish residents.

The incident follows an attack on a synagogue in Anderlecht, Brussels, over the weekend and similar attacks on Jewish religious buildings throughout France.

Belgium's anti-racism centre on Wednesday filed a complaint against the perpetrators of the attack on the Anderlecht synagogue.

Father Leman told Flemish radio that the attack was as unacceptable as an earlier incident at a mosque in Turnhout, Antwerp, in the weeks following the 11 September terrorist attacks in the United States.

The anti-racism centre joined the Israeli Consistory of Belgium and third world aid organisation Oxfam in a call for calm.