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Gunman kills four in French city

Police officers put an unidentified man on a stretcher after he allegedly opened fire on passers-by
Police officers put an unidentified man on a stretcher after he allegedly opened fire on passers-by  

PARIS, France -- At least four people have been killed and 12 wounded after a masked gunman opened fire in the French city of Tours.

Police say they have arrested the suspect, who worked as a train conductor, but have so far not identified the motive for the attack.

One person was killed near the train station while three others were shot near the city's main post office.

The man, who is not being named, was taken to hospital with serious chest and leg injuries.

Police thought at one stage that a second gunman had been involved in the gun spree in Tours, central France.

Ski mask

Officers closed a large area around an underground car park near the train station, and armed police were brought in, but it appeared later that it was a lone gunman, news agencies reported.

Local officials identified the dead as four men, aged between 33 and 66, Reuters reported. None of the wounded were in a serious condition.

A witness told France's LCI television that a man wearing a ski mask had fired on bystanders in the centre of town, repeatedly stopping to reload his weapon, at about 10.30 a.m. (0930 GMT).

"He was next to the mayor's office, he stopped, he looked at the people, he reloaded his gun and he started to fire on cars and on people walking by," the witness said.

Frightened bystanders took cover where they could, with some dashing into a nearby cafe.

Prime Minister Lionel Jospin told reporters the shooting was an "act of sheer madness."

Jospin, arriving at a conference in the northwest city of Rennes, said the suspect taken into custody had no criminal record and was believed to have worked in the public sector.

Police were reviewing security camera tapes to try to get a better idea of the circumstances surrounding the attack.


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