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Toulouse Massacre

Memorial service, Sunday, Toulouse Photo: AP
Memorial service, Sunday, Toulouse Photo: AP
 
 

France marks anniversary of Toulouse slayings

Marking anniversary of Toulouse Massacre, French President Hollande compares shooting to Holocaust: They died because they were Jewish

Associated Press
Published: 03.17.13, 21:38 / Israel News

France marked on Sunday the first anniversary of the Toulouse massacre, in which a radical Muslim killed three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers in Toulouse.

 

French President Francois Hollande, speaking after readings from Toulouse schoolchildren, compared last March's atrocities to the Holocaust.

 

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"The children of Toulouse died for the same reason ... because they were Jewish," Hollande said.

 

President Francois Hollande said France is tightening its intelligence gathering to prevent such attacks from recurring, in addition to new legislation which allows the state to convict French nationals abroad on terror charges, even if they have committed no crime on home soil.

 


נשיא צרפת הולנד נפגש עם קרובי הנרצחים (צילום: AP)

Hollande meets with the victims' relatives (Photo: AP) 

 

In March 2012, gunman Mohamed Merah, 23, murdered rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 29, his two sons Aryeh, 6, and Gavriel, 3, as well as eight-year-old Miriam Monsonego in a Toulouse school. He was later killed in a shootout with police.


טקס זיכרון בטולוז, היום (צילום: AP)

Tolouse memorial service, Sunday (Photo: AP)

 

The murders followed his killing of three soldiers around the town.

 

Merah claimed his actions were motivated by his solidarity with Palestinians and in protest of France's participation in the war effort in Afghanistan.

 

The attack raised difficult questions regarding France's failure to integrate Muslim immigrants' children in French society.

 

After Merah's death several people were arrested under suspicion of assisting Merah to carry out the crime, among them Merah's brother, who denied the allegations, but remains in custody during what has been deemed an anti-terrorism inquiry.

 

In January 2013, a few days after the French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said he does not believe Merah was acting on his own, the police arrested two additional suspects in the terrorist attacks.

 

The two men, 29 and 30, were arrested in southwest France.  

 

 

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