Separatist movement in Corsica claimed responsibility on government building rocket attack

A separatist movement on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a Sept. 29 rocket attack on a government building and issued a warning against the prefect, the top state official said.

The FLNC-Union of Combatants said the attack on the prefecture in the capital of Ajaccio was to call attention to what it said was France's responsibility in a bitter conflict over the French government's plans to partially privatize a ferry company, the AP reports.

A three-week strike over France's plans to reduce its stake in the struggling SNCM ferry operator set off strikes at airports, maritime links and elsewhere, all but isolating Corsica.

The rocket blast put a gaping hole in the prefecture, the main government building, but no one was injured.

The statement by the outlawed group, received by France-3 television and authenticated by authorities, denounced Prefect Pierre-Rene Lamas as a "veritable inquisitor" and said the current situation "obliges us to envisage intervening against this type of individual."

Corsican separatists have waged a campaign against France for decades in a bid for greater autonomy, but attacks have been clearly timed to avoid loss of life. However, Prefect Claude Erignac was killed in a 1998 attack in Ajaccio. A Paris court convicted eight separatists in the killing.


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