Police in southwestern France say one adult and three children are dead after a gunman opened fire at a private Jewish school in the city of Toulouse.
Authorities say the attack at the Ozar Hatorah school also seriously wounded at least one other person. The dead include a teacher who worked at the school and his three- and six-year-old sons. School officials say another child between eight and 10 years old was also murdered.
A police spokesman said the shooter escaped on a motorbike.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy rushed to Toulouse accompanied by Education Minister Luc Chatel and Richard Prasquier, the president of CRIF, a group representing French-Jewish organizations.
Sarkozy called the attack “a national tragedy” and vowed to find the gunman, saying the “savagery, the cruelty cannot win.”
The attack comes days after three soldiers were killed and two wounded in two separate shootings in the same region, also by a man who escaped on a motorbike.
Sarkozy said he was “struck by the similarities” between the two shootings.
Authorities said forensic analysis shows that the same weapon was used in both earlier shooting incidents.
It is not immediately clear if Monday’s attack is related to the two previous shootings.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.