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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

50 Youths Attack Kiev Synagogue

KIEV -- About 50 youths attacked the central synagogue in Kiev, beating a rabbi and two others with stones, hurling bottles and destroying property, the rabbi said Sunday.

Kiev's chief rabbi, Moshe-Reuven Azman, said the mob marched down the capital's main boulevard shouting "Kill the Jews!" before attacking the synagogue just after 9 p.m. Saturday. The incident occurred after Saturday evening services, and many worshippers had already left the building.

Police denied it was an anti-Semitic attack, saying it was a case of soccer-related hooliganism. A soccer game had just ended at nearby Dynamo stadium.

Azman said the youths knocked Tsvi Kaplan, rector of Kiev's yeshiva, or Jewish school, to the ground and beat him with stones. Kaplan was hospitalized overnight but was released Sunday. Azman's 14-year old son and a security guard also suffered injuries, the rabbi said.

"I call this act a pogrom," Azman said. "It's a miracle that it was not worse."