Toulouse: Marine Le Pen calls for war against 'politico-religious fundamentalists'

Marine Le Pen

Marine Le Pen

The far-right French presidential hopeful has weighed in to the public debate as details about the perpetrator of the gun attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse emerge.

Initial reports suggested that the attack – and two others in which three paratroopers of North African or Caribbean descent were killed – was connected to three former paratroopers with neo-Nazi links, or might be the work of a right-wing extremist.

But French police are currently surrounding a house in Toulouse and engaged in a stand-off with a man who claims to have al-Qaida links and has said he wants revenge for the Palestinians.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front party of France, told French television that it was now time "to fight this war against these politico-religious fundamentalists who are killing our children, who are killing our Christian children, our young Christian men, our young Muslim men and who killed these Jewish children two days ago".

According to the Daily Beast, her party chose to take a less moderate stance, releasing a press statement earlier today under the title: "For the bastards."

"Your enterprise aimed at dragging in the mud 20 per cent of French people failed," it said. "You tried to add your poor political condemnation to the horror of the drama."

Ms le Pen, the daughter of Jean Marie Le Pen, has tried to shake off the extremist label in recent months in a bid to boost her party's electoral chances. But both she and incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy have faced criticism for playing to extremist voters, with comments about kosher and halal meat.

Last updated: 2:51pm, March 21 2012