Police suspect spree killer behind shooting in Toulouse (JERUSALEM POST) By GIL SHEFLER 03/19/12)
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"We are struck by the similarities between the modus operandi of
today´s drama and those last week even if we have to wait to have
more elements from the police to confirm this hypothesis," Sarkozy
The first shooting in the region took place on March 11 when Imad Ibn-
Ziaten, a 30-year-old staff sergeant, was killed behind a school in
Toulouse. Police believe his murderer had been waiting for him.
On Thursday three French soldiers in uniform were shot at a shopping
mall in Montauban, 50 kilometers north of Toulouse. Two of them --
Abel Chennouf, 24, and Private Mohamed Legouad, 26-- later died of
French police said similar ammunition was used in both shootings.
Then on Monday an unknown assailant shot dead four people -a teacher,
his two children and another child- outside the Ozar Hatorah school
Eyewitnesses said the unknown assailant drove up to the Ozar Hatorah
school´s entrance on a black scooter around 8:00 a.m. and fired at
the gatherers with a heavy-calibre firearm and a pistol.
Yonathan Sandler, a 30-year-old teacher from Jerusalem; his two
children Aryeh, 6, and Gavriel, 3; and 8-year-old Miriam Monstango,
the daughter of the school´s principal, died in the attack and
several others were wounded.
"I saw two people dead in front of the school, an adult and a
child... Inside, it was a vision of horror, the bodies of two small
children," a distraught father whose child attends the school told
"I did not find my son, apparently he fled when he saw what happened.
How can they attack something as sacred as a school, attack children
only sixty centimeters tall?"
Police shut the city down looking for the gunman who fled the scene
of the crime.
French Interior Minister Claude Gueant ordered increased security at
Jewish schools throughout the country and Sarkozy was en route to the
southern French city to oversee the police investigation.
Gil Taieb, a vice president of the CRIF, France´s Jewish umbrella
group, told The Jerusalem Post he had no doubt the attack was a hate
"For someone to locate this school in a place like Toulouse means he
knew what he was doing," Taieb said. "He went there to kill Jews."
Taieb said the community was in a state of shock.
"There are occasional anti-Semitic attacks but they are small,
nothing like this," he said. "We haven´t had something like this in
at least ten years."
Some 500,000 Jews live in France, which has the world´s third largest
Rabbi Avraham Weill, the chief rabbi of Toulouse, said there was no
warning that the community, which numbers about 20,000, might be
"There was nothing, no phone call, no warning, " he said over the
phone from France.
Weill said his top priority was to comfort the families of the
victims and prepare the bodies for burial.
The shooting was the single worst act of violence against Jews in
France since 1982, when six people were killed and 22 wounded in a
grenade attack carried out by Palestinians on a Jewish restaurant in
The most recent anti-Semitic murder occurred in 2006 when Ilan Halimi
was kidnapped and killed by a gang in Paris in a crime that had
racist overtones. Reuters contributed to this report. (© 1995-2011,
The Jerusalem Post 03/19/12)
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