At least four people have been killed by a gunman who attacked a Jewish school in Toulouse, France. Consequently, the security level in place across the French Jewish school network is being raised.
According to initial information now released from the immediate scene - Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse - besides the multiple deaths, the security breach also saw a minimum of two people injured. French police officials are now in pursuit of the gunman involved who, according to eyewitness reports, was riding a black-painted scooter.
The French school attack comes hot on the heels of a similar incident, again involving a man riding a scooter. This occurred in the same French region and resulted in the deaths of three members of the armed forces. Just days before that, there was yet another shooting conducted by a man using a motorbike for transport.
No formal connection has been made between these events, despite their obvious similarities.
Jewish School Shooting
Today's Jewish school shooting incident occurred right at the start of the school day and, according to the French broadcast media, the death tally includes one teacher, one boy and one girl, although there's conflicting information being published as far as their ages are concerned.
"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", the parent of one of the Jewish children who attends this school told the RTL broadcast media group. He added: "I did not find my son - apparently he fled when he saw what happened. How can they attack something as sacred as a school?"
French Jewish School Security
As a result of the shooting, French Jewish school security is to be reinforced at every single site. That's a great number of locations, given France's position as a nation where the overall number of Jewish people is among the highest within the EU.
The sense of horror now felt at Toulouse's Ozar Hatorah school is profound but strongly felt across France as a whole. France's chief rabbi, Gilles Bernheim, has expressed his horror and astonishment at the shooting while the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, plus other members of the government, is now on his way to Toulouse.
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