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SUBWAY BOMBING PUTS FRENCH POLICE BACK ON THE ALERT

The second terrorist attack of France's summer tourist season put authorities back on high alert to prevent another wave of bombings like those that plagued Paris nine years ago.

Top government officials held emergency meetings after the rush-hour bombing Thursday that sprayed nails and hex nuts through a crowd at the Arc de Triomphe, injuring 17 people, many of them tourists.The bomb, planted in a trash can, went off three weeks after another bomb, blamed on Algerian extremists, killed seven people at a subway station in the tourist-filled Latin Quarter on July 25. Police said it was the same kind of bomb, made from a readily available butane canister.

But, a police spokesman said, "at this point in the investigation, nothing allows us to conclude that the same people are responsible for both attacks."

Speaking on French radio Friday, Mayor Jean Tiberi said Parisians should be on the alert and "not fall into the trap of provocation and fear."

"No one can say if we are in the middle of a series of attacks" even if "we may always fear that."

Interior Minister Jean-Louis Debre promised a wider police mobilization "because we can't accept this kind of cowardly, criminal and revolting act."

Nine people were still receiving hospital treatment Friday, authorities said. They included an Italian woman and her 3-year-old child, another 8-year-old Italian boy who underwent surgery for an arm injury, a 60-year-old Briton, four members of a Hungarian family and a 23-year-old Portuguese man. Three were in a serious condition.

The trash can was next to a newspaper kiosk on the Avenue Friedland, near the famed Champs-Elysees.

Ambulances and fire trucks crowded the broad boulevard that circles the Arc de Triomphe, reminiscent of last month's attack at the Saint-Michel subway station that injured 84.

A sweets shop near the Arc de Triomphe was turned into a field hospital.

"It's awful," said Andrea Scruby, of Eastbourne, England, who was visiting with her sons, 10 and 12. "We were coming here on holiday and my Mum said, `Perhaps you shouldn't go because of the subway thing.' But I said `No."'

Thursday's blast sparked fears of a wave of bombings such as in 1986, when 13 people were killed and more than 100 injured in attacks claimed by an Iranian-backed Lebanese group seeking the release of jailed supporters.