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Anti-Semitic slaying of 85-year-old prompts outcry in France

PARIS — French leaders and activists called for people to take to the streets to protest after prosecutors filed preliminary charges of murder with anti-Semitic motives Tuesday in the death of an elderly Jewish woman.

Mireille Knoll, 85, was killed Friday in her apartment, which was then set on fire, a French judicial official said. She was reportedly stabbed 11 times.Two men have been jailed in the case, according to the judicial official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. They face preliminary charges of robbery, damaging property, and murder with anti-Semitic motives, he said.

Knoll reportedly escaped a notorious World War II roundup of Paris Jews, in which police herded some 13,000 people into a stadium and shipped them to the Auschwitz death camp in Nazi German-occupied Poland. Fewer than 100 survived. Knoll, then 9, fled with her mother to Portugal, returning to France only after the end of the war.

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Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called on Parisians to join a silent march Wednesday in memory of Knoll. .

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that Knoll’s death was a ‘‘horrific crime,’’ and reaffirmed his ‘‘absolute determination to fight against anti-Semitism.’’

ASSOCIATED PRESS