News

    France Investigates Possible Links in Deadly Shootings

    Adults comfort a boy as they walk away from the "Ozar Hatorah" Jewish school in Toulouse, southwestern France, March 19, 2012
    Adults comfort a boy as they walk away from the "Ozar Hatorah" Jewish school in Toulouse, southwestern France, March 19, 2012
    Lisa Bryant

    French prosecutors are opening an anti-terrorism investigation into a string of shootings in southern France that killed several Jewish school children and French Muslim soldiers, among others.

    France will hold a minute of silence on Tuesday to mark the latest victims in a series of deadly shootings in southern France. Three children and a teacher were shot dead early Monday, after a motorcycle gunman opened fire in front of a Jewish school in the southwestern city of Toulouse.

    Toulouse Prosecutor Michel Valet told reporters that a man on a scooter or motorbike began shooting at everyone in front of him. He chased children inside the school. Besides the four people killed, the man also severely wounded a 17-year-old boy, who is in the hospital.

    Watch related video

    The killings have left France in shock. Coming just days after two similar shootings of French soldiers in the same region, the attacks raise questions about possible religious or ethnic motives - and feed into ongoing concerns about anti-Semitism in France.

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who rushed to Ozar Hatorah Jewish school in Toulouse, said it is still unclear whether the school and the troop shootings are linked.

    But Sarkozy said officials were struck by the similarity of the incidents. Last week's shootings, also in Toulouse and the nearby town of Montauban, killed a black soldier and two Muslims. In all three cases, the killer was reportedly on a motorbike.

    Investigators also say the same weapon was used in the soldier attacks. They are checking whether that weapon was used in Monday's shootings as well.

    The government is now beefing up security at all schools and religious buildings in France. For the estimated 700,000 French Jews, this is nothing new. Security was reinforced a decade ago, following a string of anti-Semitic attacks.

    In a radio interview, Marc Pullman, regional secretary-general for the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, or CRIF, said that when anti-Semitism is trivialized, people should not be surprised when such attacks happen.

    Coming just a month before presidential elections in France, the shootings have fed into the campaign, prompting calls for tougher security. Socialist Party frontrunner Francois Hollande also rushed to Toulouse, saying he wanted to be "in solidarity" with the victims' families. Other candidates, including far-right politician Marine Le Pen, condemned the attack - as did Israeli and European diplomats.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 3
        Next 
    by: Imma
    March 19, 2012 11:08 PM
    Was there ever a bombing of civilians, that is, women, children and other defenceles people and it was not done by Muslim extremists, silently cheered or defended by the Muslim moderates? The worst is that when one considers ALL Muslim states, one can only see the nightmares
    that will be ours if and when the enthronement of Islam over the world takes place.

    by: Gab to Jhubers
    March 19, 2012 11:18 AM
    Where you make your mistake is in equating a race (whites) to an ideology of Islam extreme. And while it may very well be a white, so called Christian) that did that unforgivable act, the day to day occurrence around the world of these types of events by Muslim extremists make the likelihood or probability that it was just one more of the same.

    by: Critic
    March 19, 2012 10:50 AM
    the aggressive policy of extremist Jews and Sarkozy has created million Hitler because people whether in East or West can not afford more exploitation and deception. this bloody attack could repeat itself everywhere because Netanyahu and his fellows have been the reasons behind those attacks due to their bias aggressive failed policy .You should expect more after the farce during the election .

    by: Ben
    March 19, 2012 10:42 AM
    VOA hurries to search the links-Muslim victims.Jews in Europe often suffer from Muslim extremist attacks.Please,dont mix the Jewish children with the Muslim Soldiers.You acts indecently!

    by: Larry at Hafganah v'Hodaya
    March 19, 2012 10:36 AM
    You can't help think that these horrific acts will continue if we don't stop beefing up security AFTER these incidents. Why can't we beef up security and watchfulness on an ongoing basis?
    Why do we always think this won't happen here or to us?

    by: edward
    March 19, 2012 10:32 AM
    You know what the worst thing is?
    Maximum sentence in France is 30years, no life imprisonment...
    The guy who done this, should at least die!

    by: jhubers
    March 19, 2012 10:09 AM
    Gab: actually given the link to earlier murders of Muslim policemen, I would say it is more probable that another kind of terrorist - the kind that killed 60 school children in Norway - is behind this; the greatest scourge in Europe today - white Christians. This, of course, is a horrible generalization, but then, so is your attempt to link it to Islam. Is it not possible to simply say this was a vicious killer - a criminal - and forget trying to link it to religion?

    by: jesus
    March 19, 2012 10:03 AM
    VOA your are disrespecting TIME for his voice is as valid as any gods.

    by: jesus
    March 19, 2012 10:01 AM
    Religious neanderthals are responsible for most of the violence in the world and my god TIME is fed up and will destroy all gods with no mercy by educating all persons regardless of race, nationality or color of eyes.

    by: Jesus
    March 19, 2012 9:27 AM
    All religious neanderthals should stop the violence for my god TIME will destroy your gods he is all powerful and wise .
    Comments page of 3
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.