It has been revealed that three of the four people murdered at a beauty spot in the French Alps were shot in the head.
Wednesday’s attack, near the village of Chevaline, close to the Swiss border, also left a seven-year-old girl with serious injuries. She was apparently shot and brutally beaten.
In addition, it has emerged that a four-year-old girl spent eight hours cowering inside the British-registered car targeted by attackers. It is believed she was surrounded by the bodies of her mother, father and grandmother.
The fourth murder victim was a French cyclist, who was also found shot dead at the scene.
The owner of the car, discovered dead at the wheel, was Iraqi-born Briton Saad al-Hilli, according to neighbours in Surrey, England.
“I had a tremendous shock and I am in a way speechless and emotionally shaken because I have known him for a period of time and I never thought something of the kind would happen to him and his family,” said neighbour Jack Saltman.
“I am very saddened and also very sad for the little girls who are left behind,” he continued.
The motive for the attack remains unclear. Investigators are studying all possibilities, including a score-settling attack or simply that the family was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that French authorities will do everything in their power to find the perpetrators.