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France marks anniversary of Toulouse slayings

Sunday - 3/17/2013, 9:07am  ET

French President Francois Hollande, left, hugs Latifa Ibn Ziaten, mother of French soldier Imad ibn Ziaten, slained by gunman Mohamed Merah, in March 2012, in Toulouse, southwestern France, Sunday, March 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Bob Edme, Pool)

PARIS (AP) -- President Francois Hollande says France is tightening its intelligence gathering to prevent attacks like the one in the country's south a year ago when a radical Muslim killed three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers.

Marking the anniversary of the attacks, Hollande said that France has since passed a law which allows the state to convict French nationals abroad on terror charges, even if they have committed no crime on home soil.

Hollande, speaking after readings from Toulouse schoolchildren, compared last March's atrocities to the Holocaust.

"The children of Toulouse died for the same reason ... because they were Jewish," Hollande said.

Gunman Mohamed Merah, 23, was killed in a shootout with police soon after the attacks on a Jewish school in Toulouse.


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