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France

Alps shooting family tells of 'heartbreak'

Latest update : 2012-09-13

In their first statement to the public on Wednesday, the family of the British-Iraqi family slain in the Alps shootings last week said they were touched by the outpouring of sympathy, as the bodies of the victims were returned to the U.K.

Relatives of the British-Iraqi family slain in a brutal shooting in the French Alps last week said Wednesday they were heartbroken, but touched by the outpouring of sympathy from people all over the world.

Ahmed Al-Saffar - whose 74-year-old sister was found dead in a car along with his niece Iqbal al-Hilli and her husband Saad - said the family wanted those responsible brought to justice.

“We have been touched by the expressions of sympathy from people all over the world,” he said in a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

“We are very grateful for the support provided by the British, French and Iraqi authorities during this difficult time,” he added.

“We hope that those responsible for the deaths of our loved ones are brought swiftly to justice.”

The family's statement came as the French prosecutor in charge of the case, Eric Maillaud, confirmed that he would be travelling to England on Thursday to continue the investigation into the shootings near Lake Annecy.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, he said: "I imagine that a great number of clues will be in the UK.

"We will try to work as closely as possible with the British, cooperation has already begun."

Mr Maillaud added that officers would be talking again to the al-Hilli's daughter, seven-year-old Zainab, who survived the attack but was shot and so brutally beaten that doctors placed her in a medically-induced coma.

Police spoke briefly with her after she regained consciousness on Sunday and are waiting for approval from doctors before they can question her further.

"She will of course be listened to. But of course her doctors have got to be able to help her try to get back to the best possible health and eventually hope that she will be able to express herself," he said.

"She is a key witness. She's the only person alive who actually could have seen something.

"But the success of the inquiry cannot be thanks to a little girl who is seven-years-old and who has been very damaged. We can't hope for the inquiry to be solved thanks to her."

Maillaud added that the investigation could take months to solve.

FRANCE 24 with wires

Date created : 2012-09-12

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