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France

UK and French police join forces in Alps killing inquiry

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-09-07

Surrey police are helping French authorities investigating the brutal murder of four people in eastern France, after a passport found at the scene showed that at least one of the victims was a British citizen. Police are still searching for a motive.

Police in the UK are helping French authorities investigating the brutal shooting deaths of four people in eastern France after it emerged the driver was a UK citizen.

Annecy prosecutor Eric Maillaud on Thursday identified the driver of the BMW hatchback as Saad al-Hilli, 50, from Claygate, Surrey.

Surrey police have confirmed that they are liaising with the Foreign Office as the investigation in the Haute-Savoie administrative region, near the Swiss border, gathered pace.

French President François Hollande vowed that "everything will be done" to find those responsible for the attack. Speaking at a press conference in London on Thursday, he said France stood "in solidarity" with Britain.

Maillaud told a press conference in Annecy that al-Hilli was of Iraqi origin and had been living in England “since at least 2002”.

Headline news in the UK, tabloids speculate

He told told reporters that it was still unclear if al-Hilli and the woman were the parents of the two girls, one of whom was critically injured, who were found at the scene of the crime.

“The BMW’s registration was traced to the owner, and with this information we were able to get a passport number,” Maillaud said. This passport number corresponds with one that was given to a nearby camp site.

An older woman who was also shot dead held two passports – one Iraqi and the other Swedish – while no documents had been found for the younger woman or for the two children, one of whom was in hospital Thursday recovering from a gunshot wound to the shoulder.

The other child was found by the forensics investigators eight hours after the crime had been reported by a British cyclist, a former member of the Royal Air Force on holiday in the area.

Maillaud said that the four-year-old girl had hidden under the legs of the older woman and told police that “there was noise and that she was scared”.

Another cyclist, a French national named as Sylvain Mollier, was found gunned down near the scene of the crime.

 

Date created : 2012-09-06

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