Shock in UK at killings of family in France

2012-09-06 14:48

London - The killings of three members of the same family in a tranquil holiday spot in the French Alps shocked and horrified the British press on Thursday.

While Britain's Foreign Office said it was "urgently looking into reports that suggest a British family is involved", many newspapers splashed the reports over their front pages.

The Daily Mail's front page read "'British family' gunned down in the Alps", while it and The Sun focused on claims that two survivors of the shootings could be at risk because the suspected killers would want to eliminate any witnesses.

Later online versions of The Sun, Britain's most-read newspaper, led on the fact that a four-year-old girl was found alive under her mother's body eight hours after the shootings in Chevaline near Annecy.

The Mirror tabloid speculated that it could have been an attempted carjacking - the family were found in a bullet-riddled 4X4 BMW estate car.

The Foreign Office said it could not confirm that the victims were British.

"Our thoughts are with the friends and families of those involved," a spokesperson said.

"Our consular officials are at the scene and are working closely with the French authorities to establish more information."

It emerged on Thursday that a four-year-old girl survived the shooting and spent eight hours curled up under her mother's bullet-riddled body.

The other victims in the family are believed to be her father and her grandmother.

The girl's elder sister, who was found wounded next to the car, was in a serious but stable condition in hospital after being flown by helicopter to the city of Grenoble.

Another man, believed to be a local who interrupted the attack by chance as he cycled by, was also found shot dead in the tree-lined car park on Wednesday.