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A recent palpable rise in tensions also has been boosted by fears of a mass migration of Muslims from the disarray in the Arab world.

“This growth in the number of [Muslims] and a certain number of behaviors cause problems,” Interior Minister Claude Gueant recently said on French radio. “There is no reason why the nation should accord to one particular religion more rights than religions that were formerly anchored in our country.”

France’s challenge is evident in the Paris suburb of Trappes. It has a large Muslim population and is one of the few towns in France where veiled women are occasionally seen on the streets.


Dutch mourn six mall shooting victims

AMSTERDAM | Memorial services were held Sunday in a quiet suburb outside Amsterdam to mourn six people killed by a gunman at a crowded mall, as investigators puzzled over his motive and struggled to explain how he was able to obtain and legally own five firearms in the Netherlands.

The attacker, identified as 24-year-old Tristan van der Vlis, opened fire in Alphen aan den Rijn with an automatic rifle on one of the first pleasant Saturdays of spring, authorities said.

In addition to the fatalities, he wounded at least 17 others, including two children, and dozens more suffered minor injuries, including one infant. Van der Vlis ended the rampage by shooting himself fatally in the head at the Ridderhof mall, bringing the death toll to seven.

District Attorney Kitty Nooy said the investigation had uncovered two notes left by the killer, and more information in several files on his computer.


Police arrest two ETA suspects after gunfight

PARIS | Police said officers in central France arrested a man and a woman allegedly linked to the Basque separatist group ETA after a pair of weekend shooting incidents against officers that injured at least one.

Authorities said police detained the couple Sunday in the central town of Croze after a gunbattle. No one was injured.

Nearly 300 police officers, helicopters and dog-search teams were deployed after a female driver refused to stop at a police checkpoint on Saturday near the town of Valliere. Her companion opened fire on officers in pursuit, and one was hit in the shoulder.

ETA has killed more than 825 people since the 1960s in its effort to create a Basque state independent of Spain and France. The EU and the U.S. consider it a terrorist group.

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