The difficult part about this situation is that it’s election season in France and with competing forces going after the same position, both will do and take measures they most likely wouldn’t if they already had a secured seat. It is surprising to the media that President Sarkozy has suspended his campaign for a few days, but has taken the bold measure in this situation to do his part as the incumbent.
Here’s the report from The Star Online:
A gunman on a motorbike shot dead three children and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday, just days after apparently killing three soldiers nearby, prompting President Nicolas Sarkozy to say France should not give in to terror.
With the attacker still on the loose, police stepped up a manhunt in the city of a million people in southwestern France and prosecutors opened anti-terrorism investigations, although it was not clear whether the motive was political or racist.
The soldiers, one of Caribbean and two of Muslim origin, were also killed in drive-by shootings, which a spokeswoman for the prosecutors’ office said appeared to have been carried out by the same man.
At the Ozar Hatorah school in an leafy residential neighbourhood in Toulouse, the gunman killed a 30-year old Hebrew teacher, his children aged three and six, and another child, the 8-year-old daughter of the school’s principal, who died in her father’s arms as medics tried to resuscitate her. A 17-year-old boy was also wounded.
“He came on his motorbike, got off and shot a bullet in the air… Then he got out another gun and started shooting at everyone, at the children. He chased us into the school,” Baroukh, a Jewish man living nearby who had come for morning prayers, told Reuters, declining to give his family name.
Video surveillance footage showed the gunman shooting one child at close range in the head, before fleeing on a motor bike, said Nicolas Yardeni, regional head of the French Jewish umbrella association, CRIF.
CNN has reported that parts of New York are on alert now, particularly predominant Jewish areas. Twitchy will continue to monitor the situation and update this post as needed.