PARIS (AP) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy says the far-right's use of the recent killing spree to call for tougher immigration laws doesn't make any sense since the perpetrator was French.
Mohamed Merah, who was shot by police after they closed in on him for the deaths of seven people in southwestern France, was of Algerian descent but born in France.
Sarkozy told France Info radio that immigration needs to be better managed but that to blame the killing spree on poor border control "makes no sense."
Far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has seized upon the religion of Merah and his distant ties to Algeria to rail against immigration.
Sarkozy said Monday: "We can't equate Mohamed Merah, born in France, French, to the children of immigrants arriving by boat."