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Man who committed murder in front of Jewish school in Toulouse evidently also filmed it

Toulouse, France, 20.3.2012 20:01, (ROMEA)

The assailant who shot one adult and three children dead yesterday in front of a Jewish school in Toulouse wore a small video camera around his neck which he evidently used to film the crime. Police have determined this from video footage taken by security cameras in front of the school.

Officers are still looking for the shooter. According to sources quoted by the newspaper Le Figaro, they have already ruled out three suspects, soldiers who were discharged from the Army in 2008 because of their neo-Nazi sympathies.

French Interior Minister Claude Guéant, speaking on radio stationi Europe 1, said police have not yet succeeded in identifying the assailant. "For the time being, we don't know who it was. We are working on it," he said.

Guéant said the new finding that the perpetrator evidently filmed his crime could help create a profile of the shooter. "It shows that the murderer is someone very cold-blooded, very cruel and very determined, who acts with precision," the minister said.

Guéant noted that the assailant might have filmed the shooting for himself only, but it is also possible he is planning to publish the footage online. For the time being, however, the minister said police have not discovered any footage of the attack.

About 25 members of the elite RAID police unit have arrived in Toulouse to help search for the perpetrator. Guéant announced yesterday that all security forces had been mobilized in the area and that the number of officers on duty at airports, train stations and other public areas had been increased.

Yesterday French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that the country was on "red alert", the highest level of anti-terrorist readiness. This is the first time such an alert has ever been announced in France. The measure means that mixed military and police units are able to patrol the streets and that officials may close down mass transit or schools if necessary.

The gunman shot dead three children aged three, six and 10 and one teacher in front of the school in Toulouse. The perpetrator used the same scooter and the same weapon during attacks committed over the last eight days against French paratroopers in nearby Montauban and Toulose, murdering three soldiers.

The newspaper Le Point reported today that three possible suspects might be the three soldiers described above, who had been discharged from the Army because of their neo-Nazi sympathies. The trio served in the same unit as the soldiers murdered in Montauban and Toulouse.

However, Le Figaro reports that police sources claim those soldiers are not suspected of this crime. "Two of them were interrogated last night and detectives have ruled them out as suspects," the newspaper reports a police source saying on condition of anonymity. Detectives are said to have interrogated the third soldier regarding the murders in Montauban and Toulouse last week and do not suspect him either.

Today at 11:00 CET, French schools observed a minute of silence to honor the memory of the four victims. French President Nicolas Sarkozy joined the remembrance event by observing the minute of silence at the Françoise Couperin school in the center of Paris near the memorial to Holocaust victims, Agence-France Presse reports.

"All of the school children, all of us have been stricken by what happened," Sarkozy said prior to beginning the remembrance event. "These children were the same as you, they were innocent victims."

František Bikár, ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, ČTK, brf, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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