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Mar 23, 2012 1:47 PM by Jacqui Heinrich

French spymaster: Gunman didn't plan school attack

PARIS (AP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy's spy chief says a gunman who killed three young children and a rabbi at a Jewish school only attacked the school after missing his original target - a French soldier.

Ange Mancini, Sarkozy's intelligence adviser, said on French TV that Mohamed Merah had wanted to kill a soldier he had targeted Monday in Toulouse, but arrived too late and instead besieged a nearby Jewish school.

Mancini told France-24 TV on Friday that "it wasn't the school that he wanted to attack," calling school shooting "opportunistic."

Merah, a 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent, was killed Thursday in a shootout after police raided the Toulouse apartment where he had been holed up for 32 hours in a standoff with authorities.

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