French police sniper shoots two in error at Hollande speech

French police sniper shoots two in error at Hollande speech

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PARIS: A French police sniper has accidentally shot and injured two people during a speech by President Hollande.

Mr Hollande was inaugurating a new stretch of railway in the town of Villognon in western France when gunfire was heard.

A waiter and a worker attending the event were slightly wounded, one in the ankle the other on the leg, according to local media.

One local report said the safety catch was unlocked and the gun discharged.

The shot interrupted the speech for a few moments, but reports say there was no panic.

“I hope it’s nothing serious. I think not,” Mr Hollande said as he paused his address to ask whether anyone had been hurt.

Officials say the lives of the injured – the head waiter of a local hotel and an employee of a railway maintenance company – are not in danger.

A judicial investigation has been launched.

The marksman is based with a special protection unit in nearby Poitiers, officials say. He was positioned on a roof some 100m (328ft) from the marquee where the inauguration ceremony was taking place.__BBC

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