11-year old British girl killed by neighbour in France over land dispute

11 year old British girl killed by neighbour in France over land dispute
The view from Saint-Herbot

A British family living in France was attacked by a neighbour while having a barbecue in their garden on Saturday night, resulting in the death of their 11-year-old daughter.

The incident occurred in Saint-Herbot, a village near Quimper in Brittany, at around 10pm local time. The girl was playing on the swings when a 71-year-old Dutch man allegedly opened fire on the family with a gun.

The father of the girl was shot in the head and is in critical condition at a hospital. The mother was also wounded but her injuries are not life-threatening. The younger sister of the girl, who is eight years old, escaped without harm and alerted a neighbour, saying: “My sister is dead, my sister is dead”.

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The family had been living in France for four or five years and both girls were born there.

The suspect and his wife were arrested by the police after a negotiator convinced them to surrender. They had barricaded themselves in their house after the shooting.

The motive of the attacker is unknown but prosecutors said there had been a long-standing dispute between the two neighbours over a piece of land next to their properties.

The mayor of Plonévez-du-Faou, Marguerite Bleuzen, said: “We knew the family well. They always came to the village fête every year. They were not troublemakers. Maybe there was a conflict with the neighbour, I don’t know about that. But it is unthinkable to have shot a child. Nobody can understand how that could have happened.”

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A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: “We are providing consular assistance to a British family following a shooting in France and are in contact with the local authorities.”

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