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March 28, 2023

Toulouse Jewish school attack kills four

A gunman on a scooter has opened fire on a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse, killing three children and a teacher.

TOULOUSE. – A teenage boy was also seriously injured in the attack outside the Ozar Hatorah school in the north-east of the city,  the BBC informsPolice say there are similarities with the killings of three soldiers in two separate incidents in the same part of France last week. All three – of North African origin – were shot by a man on a scooter.A paratrooper out of uniform was shot dead in a residential area of Toulouse just over a week ago, while two soldiers were killed and a third wounded as they used a cashpoint in the town of Montauban, some 29 miles (46km) away, on Thursday.But President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has gone to the scene, said it is “much too early” to know if there is a definite link.“Whatever happens,” he said, “faced with this kind of toll, we can say that the French Republic as a whole has been hit by this appalling tragedy.”The grand rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, who is travelling to the south-western city, said he was “horrified” and “stunned” by what had happened.Israel also said it was horrified, adding that it trusted the French authorities “to shed full light on this tragedy and bring the perpetrators to justice”.Monday’s attack happened as children and their parents were arriving at the school, in the Joliment area of the city.A teacher at the school, believed to be aged 30, and his two children, aged three and six, are reported to have been killed. The third child killed was aged between eight and 10 years old and belonged to another teacher at the school, French media report.“[The gunman] shot at everything he could see, children and adults, and some children were chased into the school,” local prosecutor Michel Valet said.The Toulouse-based La Depeche newspaper said the shooting took place at the drop-off point for the nursery- and primary-age children of the school.It said the killer was armed with two weapons, one of which was the same .45 calibre weapon as that fired in the attack on the paratroopers in Montauban.AFP news agency said the gunman initially used a 9-mm weapon but it jammed so he switched to a .45 calibre weapon.A journalist in Toulouse, Christopher Bockman, told the BBC the city was in lockdown as police hunt the killer.Some 60 police officers, including anti-terrorist specialists, had already been drafted in to help investigate the attacks on the soldiers.They had been looking for a gunman who was targeting soldiers. But if the latest attack does prove to be linked, then it suggests the pattern has changed and, if so, police are looking for a dangerous serial killer,.

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