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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Budapest Bombings Heighten Fears Among Hungary's Jews

BUDAPEST -- The explosion of a small bomb near Europe's largest synagogue heightened concern Thursday in Hungary's Jewish community that a pattern may be developing.


The bomb exploded Wednesday night in the Hungarian capital Budapest in a dustbin near the Dohanyi Utca synagogue and across the street from the smaller Heroes' Synagogue.


The blast scattered rubbish over a 20 meter radius, but caused no injuries or other damage, police said.


"It's a bit dangerous, but I suppose the police can catch these people," said Peter Feldmajer, president of the Confederation of Hungarian Jewish Communities.


"The police should see it is a serious thing. It is not a joke," Feldmajer said, adding that Wednesday's bombing and a previous explosion seven weeks ago in the heart of the former Jewish ghetto were baffling because no one had claimed responsibility.


On Aug. 25, another small bomb exploded on a bench in Klauzel Square, about 100 meters from a kosher restaurant in the heart of the former ghetto. It caused virtually no damage.


"If you take them together, maybe there is something going on, but it's not on a big scale and no one is taking responsibility," one diplomat said. "If there is terror they usually like to say it."


Police said they did not know if the bombs had been planted by the same person, but said both were simple devices.


"It is too early to guess if it [the latest bomb] was aimed at someone or was political," police spokesman Mihaly Dezsi said. "It was not very powerful but it is lucky that nobody was injured ... I don't find that this is a big case, but we see this tendency as dangerous that it exists at all."


Police said they had no immediate plans to bolster security outside Jewish buildings in Budapest. Feldmajer said police already provided protection at Jewish sites "all the time."