Man arrested over deadly Alpine ambush on British-Iraqi Al Hilli family

Girls’ parents and grandmother were shot dead in Annecy 10 years ago

Members of the media at the scene near Chevaline where the Al Hilli family were killed. Getty Images
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A man has been arrested in France in connection with the killings of four people in an Alpine town 10 years ago.

Saad Al Hilli, 50, his wife Iqbal, 47, and Iqbal’s mother, Suhaila Al Allaf, 74, were shot and killed as they fled the Annecy area in their car on September 5, 2012.

Sylvain Mollier, 45, who lived locally, was also killed. The French cyclist, who worked in the nuclear industry, was shot seven times at point-blank range.

The couple’s two daughters survived the attack.

Saad Al Hilli. AFP

Zeena, 4, hid in the footwell of the car and was uninjured while her 7-year-old sister, Zainab, was shot and beaten but survived.

Zainab suffered a fractured skull from what authorities described as “extremely violent” blows to the head. She also had a gunshot wound in her shoulder.

Al Hilli, 50, was an engineer in Iraq before moving to Surrey, England. His past life and potential financial links to the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein sparked claims he could have been targeted by someone who had planned the attack.

The family were shot as they sat in their British-registered BMW car in a forest car park near Chevaline. The village, in Haute-Savoie, is a beauty spot popular with tourists.

The family had been holidaying at the nearby Saint Jorioz camp site when the bloodbath occurred.

The grim discovery was made by a British man who had been staying at his home in the area.

All four victims were shot in the head.

Tearful family friends outside the house of the Al Hilli family home in Claygate, England, after the killings in 2012. Getty Images

At the time of the incident, Iqbal carried an Iraqi passport and her mother had a Swedish passport.

After years of being considered a cold case, a man was arrested on Wednesday.

A prosecuting source in Annecy said the person arrested was a man who had previously been detained by officers in relation to the incident.

French prosecutor Line Bonnet wrote on Twitter that a person has been placed in police custody in the Chambery region “in connection with the investigation into the murders of the Al Hilli family and Sylvain Mollier, known as the ‘Chevaline events’ of September 5 2012.”

She didn’t give further details on the case because the investigation is ongoing.

No one has ever been charged in relation to the murders, which prompted investigators in England to search the family’s home in Surrey.

Updated: January 13, 2022, 5:34 AM
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