2 French Troops Shot Dead on Street

Third critically injured

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Mar 15, 2012 1:17 PM CDT

(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.

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.
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)
Policemen work at the site where two French soldiers were killed in a drive-by shooting near a military base in Montauban on March 15, 2012.
Policemen work at the site where two French soldiers were killed in a drive-by shooting near a military base in Montauban on March 15, 2012.   (Getty Images)
Policemen work at the site where three French soldiers were killed in a drive-by shooting near a military base in Montauban on March 15, 2012.
Policemen work at the site where three French soldiers were killed in a drive-by shooting near a military base in Montauban on March 15, 2012.   (Getty Images)
A French soldier stands guard near the site where two French soldiers were killed in a drive-by shooting near a military base in Montauban, March 15, 2012.
A French soldier stands guard near the site where two French soldiers were killed in a drive-by shooting near a military base in Montauban, March 15, 2012.   (Getty Images)
A policeman holds a military jacket covered with blood on the site where two French soldiers were killed in a drive-by shooting in Montauban on March 15, 2012.
A policeman holds a military jacket covered with blood on the site where two French soldiers were killed in a drive-by shooting in Montauban on March 15, 2012.   (Getty Images)
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