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Last Updated: Friday, 13 July 2007, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
French gendarme shoots children
A French gendarme has killed his two children and a colleague before shooting himself dead in a barracks in a suburb of Paris, officials have said.

The shooting took place around 1200 (1000 GMT) in Malakoff, a town 5km (3 miles) south-west of the capital.

Officials said it was not immediately clear what had made the man kill his children, aged 11, and his superior.

Gendarmes in France are soldiers who are employed to carry out armed police duties among the civilian population.

A police source told the Agence France-Presse news agency that initial suspicions blamed the killings on a long-standing disagreement.

The unidentified gunman, reportedly aged 43, had been diagnosed with "psychological problems" and had his service weapon taken off him, police told AFP.

Police said they suspected a long-running dispute could have prompted the attack.

Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie went to the barracks immediately after being informed of the deaths, her spokeswoman said.

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