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Crime

French mother shot, burned alive by husband: Police

Published: Updated:

A 31-year-old French mother of three was burned alive by her husband, who chased her down the street and shot her in the legs before dousing her in a flammable liquid and setting her alight, police said Wednesday.

The grisly attack took place in broad daylight Tuesday in the well-heeled Merignac neighborhood, near Bordeaux airport, in the southwest.

The woman and the 44-year-old man were separated. Their children aged three, seven and 11 lived with their mother.

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The man fired several shots at the woman as she fled down a street, hitting her in the legs. After she collapsed, he set her alight, police said.

He was arrested half an hour after the murder in the neighboring district of Pessac, armed with a pistol, a pellet gun and a cartridge belt, the Bordeaux prosecutor’s office said.

He is suspected both of his wife’s murder and of having started fire that damaged her home.

Local authorities have set up a counselling service for witnesses to the killing.

The couple’s children were not at home at the time of the attack, the prosecutor’s office said, adding that they were receiving trauma counselling.

The issue of domestic violence and killings sparked protests in France in 2019. Campaigners complained that women who attempted to report abusive partners to the police were often being turned away.

That year saw 146 women reported killed by a spouse or partner, a 21-percent increase on the previous year.

After an outcry, the government introduced the use of electronic bracelets to alert victims when their attackers are nearby.

In 2020, the number of killings fell to 90.

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