French police has launched a massive manhunt operation to find out the perpetrator of the attacks at a Jewish school, that claimed the lives of three children and their teacher.
‘National tragedy’ -- Sarkozy
The horrifying incident in which a teacher Jonathan Sandler, 30, and his two sons Arieh, 5, and Gabriel, 4, and Miriam Monsonego, the seven-year-old daughter of the school director were killed in cold blood, is widely believed to be carried out by a a single gunman was responsible for the murder of an off-duty paratrooper on March 11, of two of his comrades on Thursday.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who flew to Toulouse where the sniper attacks on Ozar Hatorah Jewish day school occurred, called the killings a "national tragedy".
“Civilization cannot guard us from the madness of certain men, from the barbarism of certain men. What strikes me most is the coldness with which he acted," the French leader said.
Stepping up security amid anti-Semitic fears
The Toulouse attacks have led the French police to step up security especially at Jewish and Muslim schools as signs of anti-Semitism seemed obvious.
Anti-Semitism is obvious. The Jewish school attack was an anti-Semitic crime," said Sarkozy. But he had a word of discretion regarding linking the first two attacks. "But the soldiers? Was it because they were back from Afghanistan? Was it because they were from minorities? We don't know," he said. "We must be very cautious until we have arrested someone".
Sarkozy has declared a maximum "scarlet" terror alert on the Midi-Pyrenees region that Scarlet alert gives authorities widespread powers to disrupt daily life and implement sweeping security measures, including potentially closing rail terminals and airports or even halting water supplies.
Also feared that the killer is a military, although active or not is yet to be identified. “Given his modus operandi, his way of moving and his use of his weapon, The police remain convinced that the attacker is military.”, said the official report.
The White House expressed deep sadness and condemnation of the horrific attacks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel led worldwide condemnation, suggesting that the attack was "motivated by violent and murderous anti-Semitism.