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President Nicolas Sarkozy: "These are our children too. They are not just your children."

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Published on Mar 19, 2012

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has said extra security measures will be put in place at all schools and religious buildings.

Some 60 police officers, including anti-terrorist specialists, had already been drafted in to the Toulouse area earlier in the week to help investigate the attacks on the soldiers.

A paratrooper out of uniform was shot dead in a residential area of Toulouse just over a week ago, while two soldiers were killed and a third wounded as they used a cash machine in the town of Montauban, some 29 miles (46km) away, on Thursday.

All three - of North African and Caribbean origin - were shot by a man on a scooter. A .45 calibre weapon was also used in the Montauban shootings.

Police have said the .45 calibre weapon fired on Monday was the same as the gun used to kill the three soldiers in Toulouse and Montauban.

Socialist leader Francois Hollande also cancelled his campaigning engagements for next month's presidential election in order to travel to Toulouse.

"You cannot murder children like this on the territory of the Republic [France] without being held to account," he said.

Mr Sarkozy echoed the comments of other French officials when he said he was "struck by the similarities" of the recent attacks, but he warned against jumping to conclusions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a "a loathsome murder of Jews, which included small children" and said an anti-Semitic motive could not be ruled out.

The Vatican also condemned the killings, as did French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who called on the authorities to do everything to prevent another such attack.

Monday's shooting was the deadliest attack on Jews in France since a shooting in 1982 at a restaurant in Paris, when six people were killed and 22 injured.

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