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Anti-terror police join probe into French shooting
French probe into killing of paratroopers broadened to include counterterrorism investigators
By The Associated Press

TOULOUSE, France (AP) ' French police have broadened a probe into the shooting deaths of two paratroopers to include counterterrorism investigators and specialists in serial killers, officials said Friday.

A judicial official said Friday that authorities are examining several possible theories as they try to find the attacker and motive.

A gunman on a motorbike opened fire on three uniformed paratroopers at a bank machine Thursday in Montauban in southern France, killing two and critically wounding the other. The incident occurred not far from their barracks.

Four days earlier, a gunman on a motorbike shot and killed another paratrooper in Toulouse, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) away. The judicial official said the same caliber of weapon was used in both attacks.

A local police official in Montauban said Friday that investigators suspect a link between the two shootings.

Both officials were not authorized to be named because the investigation is ongoing.

French media percolated with speculation about what was behind the attack.

The three men targeted Thursday served in a regiment that lost four troops in fighting in Afghanistan, the 17th paratrooper combat engineering regiment, Montauban Mayor Brigitte Bareges said Friday.

The national judicial police are overseeing the investigation, a service that includes anti-terrorist investigators and specialists in serial crimes, the judicial official said.

Defense Minister Gerard Longuet said he was heading to the site Friday.


Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.

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