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Officer kills self as French leader leaves

June 25, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

An Israeli police officer fatally shot himself in the head at an airport farewell ceremony for French President Nicolas Sarkozy, prompting bodyguards to whisk the visiting leader and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to safety, officials said.

A military band was playing, and the dignitaries apparently didn't hear anything. But the guards quickly ushered Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, up the stairs of his plane at Ben-Gurion airport outside Tel Aviv.

Other guards with guns drawn rushed Olmert and Israeli President Shimon Peres toward their cars.

The policeman, who was on a roof about 100 yards from Sarkozy's plane, fell to the ground after shooting himself. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld denied reports that there had been an assassination attempt on Sarkozy.

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