A MOTHER-OF-THREE was burned alive by her husband after he chased her down the street, shot her in the legs and doused her in petrol, French police said on Wednesday.
The horrific attack occurred in broad daylight on Tuesday in the well-to-do Merignac neighbourhood, near Bordeaux airport, in southwestern France.
The 31-year-old female was chased down the street by her estranged husband, 44, who fired several shots at her as she tried to flee.
The man managed to hit her in the legs, seeing her collapse in the street. He then poured flammable liquid over her, before setting her alight, police said.
The couple were separated and their children – aged three, seven and 11 – lived with their late mother.
The 44-year-old suspect was arrested half an hour after the grisly murder in the neighbouring district of Pessac.
He was armed with a pistol, a pellet gun, and a cartridge belt, the Bordeaux prosecutor’s office said.
The man is suspected both of his wife’s murder and of having started fire that damaged her home.
A counselling service has been set up by witnesses of the killing by local authorities.
The couple’s children are also receiving trauma counselling after the disturbing incident, but the prosecutor’s office said they were not at home at the time of the attack.
Domestic violence and killings of women by their partners has been the source of many protests in France, most prominently in 2019.
That year saw 146 women reported killed by a spouse or partner, a 21-percent increase on the previous year.
These figures made it one of the most dangerous countries for women in Europe, behind Northern Ireland and Germany.
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Campaigners complained women were regularly turned away after attempting to report abusive partners to the police.
After a public outcry, the government introduced the use of electronic bracelets to alert victims when their attackers are nearby.
In 2020, the number of killings fell to 90.