Police grasp for answers in 'savage' Alps mystery killing
ANNECY, France (AFP) - Police were grasping for answers on Thursday as it emerged that three of four victims were shot in the head in a mysterious killing in the French Alps that devastated a British-Iraqi family.
The attack, which the prosecutor in charge of the case called an act of "extreme savagery", had many of the hallmarks of a professional assassination but authorities were at a loss to explain it.
Two young girls believed to be the daughters of two victims survived and were under police protection, including a four-year-old who hid beneath her dead mother's skirts for eight hours and at first went undetected by police.
Her seven-year-old sister was meanwhile in an induced coma ahead of surgery after being shot in the shoulder and suffering a fractured skull from what authorities said were "extremely violent" blows to the head.
Autopsies were to be conducted on Friday and police in France were expecting deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from Britain as they desperately sought clues.