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CRIME

French family of five found dead at home

Firefighters made a grisly discovery when responding to an emergency call to a house in the southern French town of Nimes on Monday evening. Believing they were attending a routine fire the firefighters entered the house to find five bloodied bodies of a couple and their three children.

According to French daily Le Parisien the first reports from the scene suggested that all five victims died from having their throats slit.

Quoting sources close to the police investigation regional newspaper Midi-Libre also reported that the three children, aged 4, 11, and 16, had ‘in all likelihood, been killed with a knife.’

However police colonel Pierre Poty later told press the theory all five had had their throats cut was “not exactly correct.”

The dead couple are believed to be a 50-year-old man, originally from the West Indies and his 40-year-old partner.

Neighbours on the quiet, suburban rue des Grives in the Garons suburb have described their shock and sadness at the deaths. “They were such lovely people,” said one.

As speculation mounts over the cause of the five deaths Colonel Poty refused to confirm rumours that they were the result of “a domestic tragedy”, but added that “no theory has been ruled out.”

The public prosecutor in Nimes, Laure Beccuau, has scheduled a press conference for later on Tuesday morning, where she is expected to reveal further details on the deaths. 

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POLITICS

French minister apologises for Champions League chaos

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Tuesday made a partial apology for chaos at last month's Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Paris, while insisting fake tickets and "delinquency" were mostly to blame.

French minister apologises for Champions League chaos

“Should things have been managed better at the Stade de France (stadium)? The answer is yes. Am I partly responsible? The answer is yes,” Darmanin told RTL radio.

“Of course, I readily apologise towards everyone who suffered from this bad management of the event,” he added.

After scenes of fans crowded into tight spaces and being tear-gassed by police caused outrage around Europe, Darmanin poured fuel on the fire by blaming supporters with fake tickets for the disruption.

UEFA events director Martin Kallen last week told French senators investigating the fiasco that the football body’s count of fake tickets was far short of the tens of thousands claimed by French authorities.

“We don’t believe it’s the number mentioned in France,” he said, adding that 2,600 fake tickets were identified at turnstiles — compared with the number of 30,000 to 40,000 people with fake tickets and without tickets suggested by Darmanin.

“It was a question of fake tickets… that created the difficulties we all know about” of large crowds of fans packed into underpasses or outside locked gates, Darmanin insisted Tuesday.

He added that “if there was something that went wrong at the Stade de France, it was the fight against delinquency”, saying he had already ordered a reorganisation of policing around the venue and that three major matches since had passed without incident.

While some supporters did report being victims of crime by gangs of youths before and after the match, there were also many complaints about police treatment of fans.

Disabled Liverpool fans last week told the Senate how officers sprayed tear gas at people in wheelchairs.

The English supporters have reacted with particular fury to Darmanin’s defence of the French police’s actions.

“People’s memories will forever be tarred by the lack of organisation and heavy-handed policing, and then of course the way authorities tried to deflect blame and scapegoat Liverpool fans for their incompetence,” Liverpool mayor Steve Rotheram told AFP earlier this month.

CCTV footage from around the stadium has also been deleted despite the Senate probe.

A government report published earlier this month said a “chain of failures” by French authorities has inflicted “severe damage” on the image of the country as it prepares to host the Olympic Games in 2024.

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