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article imageDesert Manhunt for ‘Deranged’ Foreign Legionnaire

By Christopher Szabo     Apr 9, 2009 in World
UN peacekeepers led by helicopters are in pursuit of an apparently deranged member of the French Foreign Legion who murdered four men and escaped on a horse.
Reports by Agence France Presse (AFP) said the soldier killed two fellow legionnaires and a Togolese soldier, all members of the UN MINURCAT mission.
The soldier then reportedly killed a Chadian farmer for his horse and made off with it. Prosecutor of the eastern Chadian town of Abeche, where the first shootings occurred, Jean-Charles Alladoum, has opened an investigation.
The region around Abeche has about 450 000 refugees from neighbouring Sudan’s war torn Darfur region and UN agencies have ordered their staff to avoid travelling because of the danger posed by the fugitive. A French military source said: “The guy is dangerous because he is armed and has a psychological problem.”
French Defence Minister Herve Morin said soldiers and Chadian authorities were searching for the man “with everything at our disposal.”
Morin however defended the good name of the Foreign Legion: “Contrary to popular belief, those with criminal backgrounds are not admitted,” he said at a press conference in Paris. “The recruitment conditions in the Foreign Legion are not done any old way, there is a real individual follow up to check that what he tells us corresponds to the reality,” Morin said.
The French Foreign Legion is a brigade-sized unit of the French Army that is made up of volunteers from around the world. The Legion is widely used in France’s remaining colonies, as well as acting as a quick reaction force for France.
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