Shootings in Toulouse and Montauban: The victims


Seven people have been killed and two wounded in serial gun attacks in south-western France.

They came from different backgrounds and ranged from sappers in a parachute regiment involved in mine-clearing, to children barely of school age.

Here the BBC News website profiles the victims.

Sgt Imad Ibn Ziaten

image captionSgt Ibn Ziaten had an unblemished military record

A paratrooper in the 1st Airborne Transportation Regiment based in Toulouse, the 30-year-old was shot dead in a quiet district of the city on Sunday 11 March, while waiting to show a motorcycle he was hoping to sell.

Police sources believe the killer had arranged to meet him on the basis of his online small ad for the Suzuki Bandit.

A career soldier, the staff sergeant had served eight years with distinction in the French military and had an unblemished record, prosecutors said.

Divorced and with no children, he had a girlfriend but they did not live together, according to local newspaper La Depeche.

On the day he was killed, he was not in uniform.

The killer may not have known Sgt Ibn Ziaten was of North African origin as he had not given his name in the small ad. He had written that he was a soldier.

The sergeant was buried in Morocco, where he had family roots.

Cpl Abel Chennouf

image captionMurder victim Abel Chennouf (left) was due to become a father with his partner (right)

A paratrooper in the 17th Airborne Combat Engineering Regiment, the 25-year-old was shot dead as he stood outside a cash machine in Montauban on Thursday 15 March with two of his fellow sappers.

He was born in the village of Manduel in the Gard region, near the city of Nimes, and was a practising Roman Catholic with North African roots, the regional newspaper Midi Libre reports.

His girlfriend, Caroline Monet, is expecting a baby in May, her grandmother, Francette Mendoza, told AFP news agency.

"He made my granddaughter so happy that we could only love him," she said, describing Corp Chennouf as a "nice boy".

Pte Mohamed Legouad

image captionPresident Sarkozy attended the funeral of Pte Legouad

Nicknamed Shams (the Arabic word for "sun") because of his sunny disposition, the 26-year-old was from Meyzieu, near Lyon.

Joining the military in 2010, he was also serving in the 17th Airborne Combat Engineering Regiment when he was killed in Montauban.

People who saw him grow up in the town's Plantees district remembered a "nice boy, always with a smile on his lips" who was passionate about football, Le Progres newspaper reports.

"He was a very willing player on the pitch, a fighter," said Cedric Casset, who runs the Under-17 squad at Meyzieu and once played with him.

People in Plantees last saw Pte Legouad when he was home on leave at Christmas.

Shocked neighbours felt sure he had been targeted because of his Algerian origins.

He was buried after a funeral ceremony in Montauban for himself and his fellow two paratroopers.

Corporal Loic Liber

The third paratrooper shot in Montauban was left critically ill.

Initially in a coma, he is now able to communicate by making signs, according to Guadeloupe 1, a broadcaster in the French overseas region where he comes from.

Aged 28, he is from the small town of Trois-Rivieres and joined the military five years ago.

His parents, Jean-Luc Liber and Emilienne Jean-Baptiste, and sister Launa have arrived in France to be close to their son, according to France-Antilles newspaper.

"A nice boy who keeps good company and has lots of mates, and who wants to do something with his life," was how his father described him.

Jonathan, Gabriel and Arieh Sandler

image captionJonathan Sandler is seen here with his sons Arieh (left) and Gabriel (right), and his wife Eva and baby daughter, in an undated image

Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, a 30-year-old teacher of religion, had joint French and Israeli citizenship, as had his sons, Gabriel and Arieh, aged four and five.

He taught at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school in Toulouse and was killed there along with his little boys, when the gunman struck on 19 March.

Rabbi Sandler had tried to shield his little boys from the attacker, witnesses say.

Born in Paris, he spent his life studying the Torah and working in Jewish community outreach,the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports.

As a child, he was sent to school in Toulouse and he divided his time between Israel and France.

Aharon Getz, a family friend, said Mr Sandler was a "delightful man".

"He had a wonderful connection with his fellow students and the communities in which he worked," Mr Getz added.

Rabbi Sandler's grieving pregnant wife, Eva, told a meeting of Toulouse's Jewish community that her husband had devoted himself to teaching children with learning disabilities "so they could succeed in becoming well acquainted with the Torah".

"He gave his all to this exalted goal and mission," she wasquoted as saying by the Jewish Mom website.

"He wanted to bring people closer to one another, and he didn't want to give up on a single student."

In addition to his wife, Rabbi Sandler is survived by a baby daughter.

Myriam Monsonego

Aged eight (some reports give her age as seven and spell her name Miriam), she was the daughter of the head teacher at Ozar Hatorah.

Reports say her killer grabbed her by her hair to shoot her in the head.

Like the Sandler children, she had joint citizenship.

She and the Sandlers were buried in Givat Shaul cemetery on the western outskirts of Jerusalem on 21 March.

Bryan Bijaoui

The 15-year-old schoolboy was seriously injured in the attack at the Jewish school.

He has beenhailed as a herofor trying to shield Myriam Monsonego from her killer.

Originally from Nice, the young man was living in the Ozar Hatorah dormitories.

Rabbi Yehoshua Hecht, his counsellor at a camp in Nice a few years ago, described him as always having "a smile on his face".

"He's a very sweet kid who's always telling jokes," Mr Hecht was quoted as saying by the website.

His condition is said to be stable and he has been able to talk to visitors.

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