PARIS -- Two soldiers in their 20s were killed Thursday when an unidentified assailant shot at a group of soldiers in southwest France, a military spokesman told the German news agency dpa.
The news of the two deaths was a downgrade from earlier reports that a third soldier, injured in the attack, had also died. Officials blamed the misinformation on confusion surrounding the attack.
The attack took place on a street in a commercial district in the city of Montauban, home to a paratroopers' base. The soldiers had been unarmed and the attacker remains at large, the spokesman said.
The assailant was driving a black motorbike and was wearing a darkened helmet, reported the broadcaster BFM. The soldiers reportedly were seeking to withdraw money from a cash machine when they were attacked.
According to reports, the two soldiers died immediately.
The third victim is in serious condition with a head wound. "He's in a life-threatening situation, but he is alive," said a military spokeswoman.
It was also unclear if the murder Sunday of a different soldier in the area was connected. He also was killed by a gunshot wound to the head while off base, French media reported.
Defense Minister Gerard Longuet expressed his condolences privately to the family members of the deceased.
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