March 19th, 2012
05:20 AM ET

Shooting at French Jewish school causes casualties

A shooting at a Jewish school in southern France resulted in casualties but authorities did not immediately say how many people were wounded or killed.

Media reports placed the number of dead at three, but CNN could not immediately confirm the figure.

The shooting took place at a private school, Ozar Hatorah, in the city of Toulouse - the same city where a soldier was fatally shot earlier this month.

France has one of the largest Jewish populations in Europe, with 380 reported acts of anti-Semitism in 2011, according to the French Jewish organization CRIF.

The news of Monday's shooting brought immediate reaction from Israel and France's grand rabbi.

"We follow with shock the news coming from France, and we trust the French authorities to shed full light on this crime and to bring those responsible to justice," said Yigal Palmor, the spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry.

Gilles Bernheim, the grand rabbi of France, said he was "horrified" and "upset" and that he was on his way to the school.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he too was on his way to Toulouse, accompanied by the head of CRIF.

Media reports said that a man in a motorcycle shot and killed three people - a man and two children - and fled.

On March 11, a soldier was on his motorbike when a man wearing a helmet on another motorcycle pulled up and shot and killed him, Toulouse police Capt. David Delattre said.

The soldier was not in uniform, and his motorbike did not have any military identification, Delattre said.

On Thursday, two other soldiers were shot dead and another injured by a black-clad man wearing a motorcycle helmet in the southwestern French city of Montauban, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Toulouse.

If the reported details of Monday's school shooting are confirmed, it will be the third incident in a little more than a week where the shooter fled on a motorbike.

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Filed under: France • World
soundoff (27 Responses)
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