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Police in Toulouse seek four men over gang-rape posted online

French police were searching Thursday for four men seen raping a woman outside a nightclub in southern France in videos that were shared on social media.

Police in Toulouse seek four men over gang-rape posted online
French police officers work at the headquarters of the Pharos reporting platform against cyber criminality. Photo: AFP
Prosecutors in Toulouse opened an inquiry late Wednesday for gang rape after the 19-year-old victim confirmed she was the woman in at least two videos posted first to Snapchat and then Twitter, a source close to the inquiry told AFP.
   
The videos of the attack prompted a wave of outrage on Twitter, with many users claiming to know the identities of the attackers, aged 25 to 30.
   
“We need calm and discretion,” the source said when asked about the reported identifications of the men.
   
The local Depeche du Midi newspaper reported that the rape occurred overnight Saturday in a parking lot in Balma, a residential suburb east of Toulouse.
 
Local police were alerted to the attack after the videos were flagged to France's national digital surveillance cell, and were already investigating Monday when a friend of the victim told them the woman's identity.
   
The victim herself then came forward after learning the videos were circulating on social media.
   
“The way they broke me, the way they humiliated me, nothing can relieve that. But the video, which will be shared, where you see my body… It's a vulnerability I'll have to bear my entire life,” she told a local radio station Tuesday.
   
Reports say the woman told police she had a hazy memory of the incident and suspects she may have been drugged.
   
The videos were deleted by the interior ministry's Pharos programme which deletes graphic and violent internet content, and police began urging people Monday not to share the images.
   
Videos of rapes have become an increasingly common problem online due to the spread of mobile phones and social media usage, with cases in the United States, Brazil and India causing outrage in recent years.

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CRIME

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

French Border police at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris shot - and killed - man who was wielding a knife in the public area of the airport on Wednesday.

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

Border police reportedly shot a man with aggressive behaviour who brandished a knife in the public area of the Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris, on Wednesday morning, police and airport sources told AFP.

“This morning officers neutralised a threatening individual in possession of a knife at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport,” the Paris police department said on its Twitter account.

A source close to the investigation told BFMTV that the man – who was likely homeless – went towards the officers, despite being asked several times to put the knife down. In response, police shot the man in the abdomen, and the individual later died.

The incident took place in the busy, public area of terminal 2F around 8:20 am, when “a homeless man started bothering security agents and border police were called in to remove him”.

Initially the man left while yelling curses but he soon returned and brought out a knife, when one of the officers fired his weapon.

An AFP photographer who witnessed the scene said “a large person of colour brandished something that looked like a knife at the police”.

“He was ordered to stop but kept advancing toward them, and an officer fired a single shot.”

The man was quickly put on a stretcher and evacuated, the photographer said. 

Security forces have been on high alert for terrorist attacks since a wave of jihadist killings that have killed more than 250 people since 2015, often by so-called “lone wolves” who often target police.

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