2 French Troops Shot Dead on Street
Third critically injured
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 15, 2012 1:17 PM CDT
Picture taken on March 15, 2012 in Montauban of the body of one of the three French soldiers killed in a drive-by shooting near a military base.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A gunman on a motorbike opened fire on three French paratroopers at a bank machine in southern France today, killing two and critically wounding one of them, officials said. It was the second such attack in a week targeting French soldiers in a public place. Earlier, the Defense Ministry had issued a statement saying all three paratroopers had died, but a local police official and a Defense Ministry official later said one of them was in critical condition.

The three uniformed soldiers had been standing at a bank machine in the town of Montauban when a helmeted assailant arrived on a motorbike and opened fire, then fled, the police official said. On Sunday, a 30-year-old soldier was fatally shot near a gymnasium in the southern city of Toulouse by an unidentified attacker. Neither the defense minister nor police announced any link between the two attacks, and the motives remain unclear.