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FRENCH OFFICERS JAILED IN BEATING AMID INCREASE IN ETHNIC TENSIONS

SHARE FRENCH OFFICERS JAILED IN BEATING AMID INCREASE IN ETHNIC TENSIONS

In a scandal that could ignite new ethnic tensions in France's second-biggest city, three police officers were jailed Sunday in the savage beating of a Moroccan-born man.

The attack in Marseille comes at a time of simmering ethnic tensions across France. Reeling under high unemployment, many French see recent immigrants as an economic threat. Authorities also are probing possible North African connections to the July 25 Paris subway bombing that killed seven people and injured more than 80 others.A judge late Sunday ordered the three officers - a squad chief, his deputy and a patrol officer - held indefinitely pending a probe of Friday evening's vicious attack on Sid Mohamed Amiri, an unemployed Moroccan-born French citizen.

Police sources in Marseille, a southern port city on the Mediterranean, said the three unidentified officers were stripped of their guns and badges and immediately suspended on Saturday. On Sunday, they were formally charged with premeditated violence, civil-rights offenses and theft.

Marseille police chief Michel Sapin vowed to "severely punish these unacceptable acts" and called in the inspector general of the National Police to help.

According to the initial investigation, police stopped Amiri, 29, for a routine identity check near a beach Friday evening. When Amiri resisted, the three officers drove him to an isolated quarry, where they kicked him and beat him with their truncheons.

The officers told their superiors that Amiri had tried to slip away from the identity check.

Amiri suffered a broken nose and multiple bruises in the attack and was being treated at a Marseille hospital.