Synagogues receive hate mail, presidential campaign suspended amid shock at Jewish school killings
Police revealed on Monday that they have opened an inquiry after two synagogues in Paris received threatening letters, one at the weekend and one on Monday morning, the same day that three children and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse were shot dead by a gunman.
The letter said “You are the people of Satan, Hell is waiting for you.”
Meanwhile, a police source says that the same gun was used in the attack on the school as in the murders of three French paratroopers of North African origin last week in the same region.
French authorities have stepped up security at Jewish and Muslim schools as well as religious buildings, following today’s attack, and President Nicolas Sarkozy has called for a minute’s silence tomorrow in secondary schools throughout France.
He described Monday’s killings as a “national tragedy” saying “these are images which we have seen in other countries which we have never seen in ours. We have no choice but to face it.”
The attacks took place as pupils and staff arrived at the Ozar Hatorah school in the Roseraie district of Toulouse this morning. A man on a scooter opened fire, killing a rabbi who taught Hebrew, his two children aged six and three and another ten-year-old child. A 17 year old boy was severely wounded
Campaigning for France’s presidential elections has been suspended and the candidates, along with other public figures, have been expressing their horror and shock. President Sarkozy visited the school this morning and was followed shortly afterwards by Socialist frontrunner François Hollande.
Sarkozy said “absolutely everything will be mobilised to find the killer”, who on first evidence appears to be a lone serial killer.