'At least four dead' in Jewish school shooting

At least four people - three of them children - have died after a shooting at a Jewish school in south-west France.

At least four people - three of them children - have died after a shooting at a Jewish school in south-west France.

A gunman opened fire in front of the school in Toulouse, officials said today.

Toulouse prosecutor Michel Valet told The Associated Press that there were “several dead” in the incident at a school in the north-east of the city this morning.

The French interior ministry has confirmed that two children and one adult were killed in the shooting in front of a Jewish school in Toulouse. It is believed at least one other child was also killed.

The gunman drove away on a scooter, a national police official in Paris said.

Police cordoned off the private school, and some two hours after the shooting, children were still inside.

President Nicolas Sarkozy accompanied by Richard Prasquier, the president of Crif, the umbrella group representing Jewish organisations, were travelling to the scene, the president’s office and Crif said.

The shooting happened at about 8.10am, just before the start of classes in most schools.

It took place in the same area where a gunman on a motorbike opened fire on three uniformed paratroopers at a bank machine last Thursday, killing two and critically injuring the other.

The attack in the town of Montauban, about 50kms from Toulouse, occurred not far from the soldiers’ barracks.

Four days earlier, a gunman on a motorbike shot and killed another paratrooper in Toulouse.

Authorities said at the time that forensic analysis showed the same weapon was used in the shootings in Montauban and Toulouse.

It was not immediately clear whether all three shootings are related.

The Brussels-based Conference of European Rabbis expressed shock and sadness following the shooting.

CER president Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt said: “This horrific act is indicative of a society where intolerance is allowed to fester.

“We call upon the French authorities to take all steps to ensure that the perpetrator of this act is found and brought to justice.

“There is today an urgent need to ensure that appropriate security measures are put in place at all Jewish institutions in Europe to ensure that the safety of Jews on this continent is not placed in jeopardy.”

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