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Italy opens probe into WWII French massacre

Published on Jan 16, 2014 1:31 AM

ROME (AFP) - Italy has launched a enquiry into the massacre of 642 people in a French town during World War II, in which an Italian and her seven children died, media reported Wednesday.

"The enquiry has just begun. It will not be easy, but we will do everything possible," prosecutor Marco de Paolis, who has convicted dozens of German war criminals in the past, told Ansa news agency.

In June 1944, SS troops massacred most inhabitants of the tiny village of Oradour-sur-Glane in western France.

The male victims were mowed down with machine guns in a barn, with survivors shot at close range with pistols before the barn was set ablaze. The women and children were taken prisoner in the village church, which was also set on fire.

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