The drive by attack took place in the South of France, the same region where a manhunt has been underway for the murder of three soldiers. According to Sky News "Around two weeks ago, a parachutist instructor in uniform was shot dead by an assailant riding a scooter using a 9mm gun. And on March 15, two paratroopers were killed and a third wounded when a gunman riding a scooter drove up and shot them as they stood at a cashpoint." Following these military attacks military personnel were warned not to wear their uniforms when out and about.
An extensive manhunt following the military attacks failed to apprehend the perpetrator or perpetrators. Whilst as yet there is no hard evidence that today's attack is linked to the military ones it does seem highly likely. French authorities have said the attacks all follow a pattern.
This is a breaking news story with updates to follow.
Latest news March 19, 2012: The dead were a 30-year-old father and his three- and six-year-old sons as well as another child. A 17-year-old was seriously injured. Five others suffered injuries.French President Sarkozy has declared it a national tragedy vowing that the culprit will be caught. A manhunt is underway. Links to the previous shooting of soldiers have been found. Today's shootings have been called acts of terrorism. A statement said an investigation had begun, “for acts of murder and attempted murder in connection with a terrorist enterprise.”