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9 Injured in Paris Bombing, 3rd in 3 Days

United Press International

An explosion ripped through a sportswear store in the crowded Les Halles shopping complex today, injuring at least nine people in the third bomb blast in Paris in three days.

The nearby Georges Pompidou Centre was evacuated an hour later because of a bomb threat.

The Les Halles bomb went off shortly after 6 p.m. in the FNAC-Sports store in the subterranean level of the Les Halles Forum, a modernistic complex of boutiques built on the site of Paris’ famed central market that dates to the year 1110.

Nine people were injured, six of them seriously, a firefighter on the scene said. At least two people remained trapped in the rubble for an hour after the explosion.

Glass Sent Flying

The force of the blast shattered windows in nearby shops, sending glass flying into crowds of passers-by and leaving victims stunned, lying in pools of blood on the stone floor.

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“There was a lot of smoke. You couldn’t see anything. There was blood all over the place,” said one witness.

FNAC-Sports owner Michel Baroin said the explosive device appeared to have been hidden behind some backpacks.

Les Halles is the capital’s largest commercial center and a popular gathering place for Paris youth. Police said 1,300 people were in the center at the time of the blast.

Call Comes Too Late

Radio reports said police received a call about 6 p.m. warning a bomb would go off in the store between 6:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. It went off before police could react.

About an hour later, police were forced to evacuate the nearby Pompidou modern-art museum because of a bomb threat.

“There is a bomb alert,” said a Pompidou official over the loudspeaker. “Try to find an exit as quickly as possible.”

The respected newspaper Le Monde earlier said police suspect Arab terrorists were behind two explosions Dec. 7 at the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores that injured 39 people, as well as the two others this week and an attempt Monday night to bomb the Eiffel Tower. (Story on Page 13.)


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