One dead, six wounded in Toulouse shooting
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One dead, six wounded in Toulouse shooting

French official says 'no indication' incident terror-related, comes as France prepares to extend state of emergency in wake of Islamist terror attacks

Illustration: Police officers control traffic near the Tocqueville high school in Grasse, southwestern France, after a shooting occured in the school on March 16, 2017. (Valery Hache/AFP)
Illustration: Police officers control traffic near the Tocqueville high school in Grasse, southwestern France, after a shooting occured in the school on March 16, 2017. (Valery Hache/AFP)

TOULOUSE — One person was shot dead and six others injured, two seriously, when a gunman opened fire in the southern French city of Toulouse late Monday, a local source said.

Local press reported that a gunman on a scooter opened fire at around 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) in the La Reynerie district of Toulouse.

“No possibilities are ruled out, but there is at this stage no indication of any terrorist element” connected to the incident, the official added.

The favored theory is that the shooting was a revenge killing, a source close to the enquiry said.

Local officials, meanwhile, said extra security had been deployed to the area.

Last year La Reynerie district, in the southwest of Toulouse, was the scene of two shooting incidents, both believed to be a settling of scores. In one incident last July a Russian man of Chechen origin was shot dead by an unknown gunman on a scooter.

On Sunday, eight people were injured in a shooting near a mosque in the southern city of Avignon in what appeared to be another criminal settling of scores.

The shootings comes as France’s government prepares to extend a state of emergency in place since Islamic extremist attacks in 2015, citing continued threats.

Five years ago in Toulouse, an Islamist terrorist killed four people, including three children at a Jewish school in a killing spree that also included the murder of three soldiers several days prior.

On March 22, 2012, Mohammed Merah, a self-described al-Qaeda sympathizer who had traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan, shot dead a teacher, Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, and three Jewish schoolchildren — Sandler’s two young sons, Arieh and Gavriel, as well as 8-year-old Miriam Monsonego — at the Otzar Hatorah Jewish school in the city before fleeing on a motorcycle.

Merah also killed three soldiers in Toulouse and nearby Montauban in the nine-day killing spree. He was shot dead by police at his hiding place two days after the school massacre.

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