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Four shot dead outside French Jewish school, Sarkozy raises alert to highest level


08:50, March 20, 2012

TOULOUSE, France, March 19 (Xinhua) -- A gunman killed four outside a Jewish school in the southwestern French city of Toulouse on Monday morning, prompting President Nicolas Sarkozy to put the region on its highest terror alert and drawing wide condemnation.

Calling the shooting a "national tragedy," Sarkozy, who rushed to the southwestern French city at noon, pledged to do everything to find the gunman.

"We have no choice but to face the challenges, resist," he said.

The shooting took place outside the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school at around 8:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT), just as students were arriving for school.

A professor, his two sons, and another 10-year-old student was killed before the killer fled on a motorbike.

Over 100 investigators were working on a manhunt for the gunman and had already identified the license plate of the motor bike used in the attack, media reported.

The attacker used a second gun when the first jammed, the Toulouse prosecutor said.

The incident follows the killing of three soldiers in two similar shootings last week in Toulouse on March 11 and in nearby Montauban on Thursday.

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