8:46am

Tue March 20, 2012
The Two-Way

Gunman May Have Filmed Shootings At Jewish School In France

There's a development from the shocking attack yesterday on a Jewish school in southern France that killed three children and a rabbi, the father of two of the slain children. French interior minister Claude Gueant says the suspect was wearing an "apparatus" around his neck that could be used to take photographs and film video during the shootings.

Gueant says if the attack was recorded, the shooter could view it on a computer, and even upload footage. But the interior minister says investigators haven't found any video. Nor have they found the gunman, despite an intense manhunt, notes the Wall Street Journal.

There's growing fear the shooter is targeting religious and ethnic minorities. This is the third shooting attack in the Toulouse region in a little more than a week. Three French paratroopers, who were of North African origin, were shot to death in two separate attacks last week and there are media reports the same gun used at the school shooting was used to kill at least two of the soldiers.

Since the killer is still at large, France boosted its terrorism alert level for the Toulose region to scarlet. That's the highest level, reports AFP. Security is beefed up at Jewish and Islamic schools.

And French military authorities told soldiers stationed in southwestern France not to wear military uniforms when they leave military bases; AFP adds the murdered paratroopers were shot across the street from their barracks.

French schools observed a minute of silence for the victims today, while French presidential candidates will briefly suspend campaigning. But one analyst wonders if that's enough: the candidates have targeted immigration and culture as political goals, making controversial remarks. They've even focused on halal meat, eaten by Muslims.

Telegraph columnist Henry Samuel notes President Nicolas Sarkozy also campaigned on limiting state benefits to legal immigrants and suggesting there are too many foreigners in France. Samuel suggests political rhetoric from all the candidates may have had a role in creating an intolerant climate in France where an "unhinged individual" could act out.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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