Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 11:25 AM EDT, 6 September 2012
Saad, his wife, a grandmother, and two daughters were on holiday traveling through France when they were ambushed in an assassination style execution in the town of Chevaline. Reports state that Saad who was found dead at the wheel and the other victims were all shot twice in the head.
The BMW was riddled with bullets and 25 spent casings from an automatic weapon were strewn around the scene. Nearby, a possible witness was also shot dead and has been identified as French cyclist Sylvain Mollier, 45. The gruesome discovery was made on a road near the picturesque Annecy lake and the Swiss border.
What has propelled this story to international attention is the fact that two of the children escaped this brutal attack despite the apparent efforts to murder the entire family. Initially, authorities thought that only one child escaped, a girl of around eight who had been violently beaten on the head resulting in skull fractures. She is currently in critical condition and is undergoing a second operation in as many days.
While the authorities secured the scene to begin the investigation, the British registered vehicle was not opened nor the bodies disturbed for nearly eight hours. It was close to midnight when the forensic team entered the car whereupon they discovered amidst the bodies a girl of about four alive and unhurt. She had been hiding on the floor under the legs of the two dead women thought to be her mother and grandmother.
She was immediately rushed to hospital in the nearby city of Grenoble, where the young girl with the severe head injuries was being treated. As both girls speak English authorities believe that they are sisters. Apparently, the younger of the siblings was too scared to move, which is why she was unnoticed by police. Given the violent nature of this attack for which a motive has not been discovered, the two girls are currently under police protection.
Reuters interviewed prosecutor Eric Maillaud who told reporters in a late-night briefing that "She's clearly shocked but she's doing okay. She's not injured.”Follow Nahmias Cipher Report on Twitter Twitter: @nahmias_report Editor: @ayannanahmias
- Girl found alive under bodies in French Alps (independent.co.uk)
- Alps shooting: Second girl, 4, found alive inside car eight hours after discovery of massacred British family (standard.co.uk)
- 4 Found Shot Dead in French Alps (abcnews.go.com)