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French police search for gunman

Police have been searching southern France for an expert gunman suspected of fatally shooting seven people in the head at close range in attacks that may have been motivated by neo-Nazi ties or grudges against minorities.

The shooter is suspected of carrying out three deadly attacks: leaving four people dead on Monday at a Jewish school in Toulouse, three of them young children; killing two French paratroopers and seriously wounding another last Thursday in nearby Montauban; and fatally shooting another paratrooper in Toulouse on March 11.

All the victims in the school attack were Jewish with duel French-Israeli citizenship, and the paratroopers were of North African or French Caribbean origin. The shots were fired at such close range that the gunfire burned the skin, prosecutor Francois Molins said Tuesday.

"We are confronted with an individual extremely determined in his actions, an armed individual who acts always with the same modus operandi," he said, "in cold blood ... with premeditated actions."

He added the crimes appear to be premeditated due to the killer's "choices of victims and the choices of his targets" - the army, the foreign origin of the victims or their religion.

The killer could "act again," he added.

French interior minister Claude Gueant described the suspect as "someone very cold, very determined, very much a master of his movements, and by consequence, very cruel".

However, his suggestion that the attacker was wearing a camera around his neck that could be used to film and post video online was described by the prosecutor as "a hypothesis".

Norway's Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing extremist who killed 77 people in a rampage last year, had suggested in an online manifesto before the killings that a camera could be used to film such "operations". There was no mention in his indictment that he used one.

On Tuesday night, the school attack victims were being flown to Israel for burial there, accompanied by French foreign minister Alain Juppe. A funeral service is being held Wednesday in Montauban for the paratroopers.

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