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Politicians, historians and protesters gathered in Paris to mark the 50th anniversary of a police crackdown on Algerian anti-war demonstrators that has become one of the most shameful episodes of modern French history.
The events of 17 October 1961 are considered a massacre by many Algerians, who claim up to 300 members of their community died at the hands of the Paris police.
Many are angry that the French government has never officially apologized for the bloody attack – which does not appear in school history books – and that the authorities still dispute the death toll.
According to officials, less than a handful of protesters died, while historians say the number of Algerians killed – some of them beaten and thrown into the river Seine – was between 50 and 120.
" All tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force. " — George Orwell.
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