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French couple shot dead at point-blank at Paris bar

23 December 2013 19:12


A man and a woman have been shot dead when an armed assailant opened fire at a bar in Paris, police officials say.

The shooting took place Sunday night in a residential part of the French capital’s southern 14th arrondissement (district).

The two were shot at point-blank range with one bullet each, as they sat outside a terrace of the Café Chineur.

The man died at the scene and the woman later died while being taken to the hospital, police inspector Jean-Jacques Herlem said.

The unidentified gunman then fled on foot, Herlem noted, adding that police did not yet know the motive.

“All hypotheses are obviously open. The investigation has just started,” said a source familiar with the investigation.

The victims’ identities have yet to be released.

A leading candidate for Paris mayor who lives nearby, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, arrived at the scene to say, “My children go to two schools in the neighborhood. I’m shocked.”

“It’s impossible not to make the connection with the growing concerns over security issues, even if we don’t know anything at this stage,” Kosciusko-Morizet added.

France occasionally witnesses deadly battles between armed criminals in bars, most often in southern cities such as Marseille, but sometimes also in Paris.

Experts say recent social unrest and shootings in the second-largest economy in the eurozone are caused by economic problems.

This is while the country’s jobless figure has hit a 16-year high in the third quarter of 2013. Over three million people are now without jobs in France as employment has topped 10.9 percent, according to the INSEE statistics agency.

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