Rabbi describes attack on Kiev's central synagogue as a 'pogrom'

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The Central synagogue in Kiev was attacked by about 50 youths who also beat a rabbi and two others on Saturday night.

Kiev's chief rabbi, Moshe-Reuven Azman, said the mob marched down the Ukraine capital's main boulevard shouting "Kill the Jews!" before attacking the synagogue. Twenty windows were smashed.

The attack happened after worshippers attending evening services had left the synagogue. Police blamed football hooligans leaving Dinamo Kiev's ground and denied it was anti-Semitic attack.

Mr Azman would not speculate on whether the attack was linked to tensions in the Middle East, saying only that it was prompted by "the general situation." While anti-Semitism remains widespread in Ukraine, there has been no overt violence linked to recent events in the Middle East.

Mr Azman said the youths knocked Tsvi Kaplan, rector of Kiev's Jewish school, to the ground and hit him with stones. Mr Azman's 14-year old son and a security guard also suffered injuries. "I call this act a pogrom," Mr Azman said.