Details of tragic Alps shooting family emerge


Rob Williams
Thursday 06 September 2012 16:29 BST

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Details emerged today about the family involved in a horrific shooting incident in France.

As the police investigation continued today Saad al-Hilli from Surrey and his wife Iqbal and daughters Zainab, seven, and Zeena, four, were named.

Mr al-Hilli and his wife, both 50, were killed in the attack on their car on Wednesday, along with a French cyclist named as Sylvain Mollier and a 77-year-old Swedish woman who is thought to be the two children's grandparents. She has not yet been named.

Mr al-Hilli's seven-year-old daughter Zainab is in a coma after reportedly being beaten during the attack and four-year-old Zeena, although unharmed, is thought to be severely traumatised after hiding under her dead mother's body for eight hours following the shooting.

Mr al-Hilli, who was born in Baghdad, is thought to have been the secretary of a Wiltshire-based aerial photography company, AMS 1087, since 2007.

According to reports he also worked for a satellite and aerospace technology company in Guildford.

Jack Saltman, whose house backs on to the family home in Claygate, said Mr al-Hilli had said something to him before he went on holiday that he would be informing the police about.

Speaking to Sam Walker on the Richard Bacon Show on Radio 5 Live, he said: "I know one little thing which I am not prepared to speak (about) at the moment. I will tell the police about it.

"It was something Saad said to me before he went but at this stage I do not feel I can disclose that but I will tell the police exactly what he told me before he left."

He described his neighbour as "a massively helpful man, a wonderful engineer" who helped him repair household machinery when it broke down.

He said Mr al-Hilli had said they were going to France for around a week-and-a-half to try to "get a bit of extra holiday in before the kids went back to school".

Mrs al-Hilli, he said, was a trainee dentist working at a practice locally.

"His two daughters were absolutely gorgeous, they were beautiful little girls," he added.

"Zainab, the elder girl, highly articulate, highly intelligent girl. The little girl was vivacious, full of life, a really bubbly little girl.

"They used to play together in the back garden and when I was working in the garden they would always come over and have a chat."

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