Toulouse (France): France launched a massive manhunt on Tuesday for a serial killer who gunned down three children and a teacher at a Jewish school, declaring a terror alert while the presidential campaign was put on hold.

With a grieving nation in shock, President Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered a minute's silence to be observed in all schools today at 11:00 am (1530 IST) and has suspended his re-election campaign until at least on Wednesday.
French Interior Minister Claude Gueant admitted that police do not know the identity of the cold-blooded killer behind three deadly attacks in eight days, but quoted a witness as saying the attacker had worn a video camera.

"Today, we don't know who he is," Gueant told Europe 1 radio. "For now, we carry on working. We're no further than that," he said, adding that "a witness saw a small video camera around the killer's neck."

"This is indeed a clue that we have been told about. It's a video camera worn in a harness on the chest and indeed he was seen, a witness said so, with this device," Gueant said.

"I don't know if he filmed everything."

The minister said that thousands of identity checks had already been carried out in a bid to catch the killer, who used the same weapon and stolen scooter in all three attacks.

The killer's first target was a paratrooper of North African origin, shot dead in Toulouse on March 11.

Four days later the killer shot dead two more soldiers of North African origin in the nearby garrison town of Montauban, also seriously wounding a soldier from the Caribbean.

French authorities have stepped up security at Jewish and Muslim schools following yesterday's bloody assault on the Ozar Hatorah school, and Sarkozy declared a maximum "scarlet" terror alert on the Midi-Pyrenees region.

"In attacking children and a Jewish teacher, the anti-Semitic motive of the attack appears to be obvious," Sarkozy said in a nationally televised address after he returned to Paris from the scene of the shooting.

Sarkozy will observe the minute's silence at a school in central Paris, before meeting Jewish and Muslim community leaders.