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Page last updated at 08:01 GMT, Monday, 29 September 2008 09:01 UK

French prisoner killed by sniper

The prison in Varces. Photo: 28 September 2008
Five shots were fired into the prison's exercise yard, officials say

An inmate in a French prison has been shot dead by a sniper from outside the jail, officials say.

They say another prisoner was injured in the same shooting late on Sunday in the south-eastern town of Varces.

The suspected gunman was arrested shortly afterwards with his gun still hot, French Justice Minister Rachida Dati says.

It is the first time in France that a prisoner has been killed from outside the jail, Ms Dati says.

Five shots were fired at the exercise yard of the jail, officials say.

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The prisoner who was killed was about to be questioned in a murder case, Ms Dati says. The man, born in 1979, also had links to organised crime.

Another inmate was hit in the hand in the shooting.

Ms Dati says the suspected gunman is being held in custody.

"He denies the facts, but he was arrested when he was getting to his motorbike which had a false licence plate and his rifle with telescopic sight was still warm," Ms Dati was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

The sniper is reported to have a police record for a number of burglaries.





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