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    Brittany: Girl from British family shot dead in France named

    An 11-year-old girl from a British family who was shot dead while playing on a swing in her garden in France has been named as Solaine Thornton.

    The family were having a barbecue on Saturday evening when the shooting happened in the village of Saint-Herbot, north of Quimper in Brittany.

    Her parents, Adrian and Rachel Thornton, were also hurt and are in hospital.

    Her father suffered serious injuries, local media reported.


    The family were named by the mayor of the commune where the family lived, Marguerite Bleuzen.

    The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said it was providing assistance to a British family.

    The girl and her eight-year-old sister were playing on a swing as their parents tended the barbecue, when a neighbour began firing at them with a shotgun through a hedge.

    The younger girl ran to another neighbour’s house to raise the alarm and is now said to be in shock.

    A local resident told French media that the younger child ran to neighbours shouting: “My sister is dead, my sister is dead”.

    The suspect, described as a 71-year-old Dutch national, reportedly shut himself in his house following the incident but eventually surrendered to police and was arrested along with his wife.

    Locals said the man was something of a recluse who was in dispute with the British family over a plot of land adjoining the two properties.

    Local media reported that the family had lived in the village for several years.

    Prosecutor Carine Halley said the circumstances around the incident were not yet known.

    Ms Bleuzen, the mayor of Plonévez-du-Faou commune, said: “We knew the family well. There is a village fête every year and they always came.

    “It is incomprehensible to have shot a child. No one can understand how that could have happened.”

    Regine Guillot, the secretary of the Plonevez-du-Faou town hall, said the village “is in shock”.

    “There were neighbourhood issues, yes, a hedge, a field, but nothing more than that, not that we were aware of,” Guillot told Reuters.

    A spokeswoman for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: “We are providing consular assistance to a British family following a shooting in France and are in contact with the local authorities.”

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