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France’s Macron 1 calls Algeria’s 1961 genocide an “unforgivable crime”


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© Reuters French President Emmanuel Macron lays a wreath at the Panj de de Bezens, Bezens Bridge during a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the October 17, 1961 assassination, a suppression of a murder by French police, Algerian protests

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PARIS (Reuters) – Emmanuel Macron on Saturday called the bloody crackdown on Algerian protesters in Paris 60 years ago an “unforgivable crime”, the French president’s strongest acknowledgment of a massacre where many bodies were dumped in the Sin River.

On 1 October 1, the 25,000 National Liberation Front (FLN) stormed a protest rally in Algeria against the curfew imposed by the police on the orders of the then Paris police chief Maurice Papon.

The procession was suppressed “brutally, violently and in blood,” Macron’s office said in a statement, adding that about 12,000 Algerians had been arrested, many injured and dozens killed.

Macron attended an anniversary ceremony on the Bezens Bridge west of Paris, where some Algerians began their procession and where many bodies were recovered from the sign.

A statement from Elysee Palace said, “He acknowledged the incident: the crime committed that night under Maurice Papun is unforgivable for the Republic.”

The killings, which took place during the war against French rule in Algeria, have long been denied or concealed by French authorities. The first memorials to the event were organized in 2001 by the mayor of Paris.

While the exact number of victims was never established, some historians put it with more than 200 dead.

This year’s commemoration took place amid diplomatic tensions between Paris and Algiers.

Earlier this month, Algeria summoned its ambassador to Paris, citing remarks blaming Macron, who was quoted in the Le Monde newspaper as saying that the Algerian rulers had rewritten the history of his colony based on “hatred of France”.

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