An elderly woman who was among the victims of a gun attack on a British family in the French Alps has been confirmed as the maternal grandmother of Zaina and Zeena al-Hilli.

The 74-year-old, who has not yet been named, was a Swedish passport holder and is the mother-in-law of Saadi al-Hilli, who was also killed in the attack.

Homes around the al-Hilli house in Surrey have been cordoned off, with reports that neighbours have been asked to leave their properties.

Four-year-old Zeena, who managed to survive the attack by hiding beneath her dead mother's skirt, had told prosecutors she didn't know the woman very well.

flowers at tge house

Police have been forced to cordon off the road around the house and residents have been asked to leave neighbouring properties


Zeena arrived back in the UK on Sunday, at the same time that her sister, seven-year-old Zainab, was woken from a medically induced coma to find that her mother and father had been killed.

Zainab had been bludgeoned over the head, shot in the shoulder and left for dead.

French police are still waiting to question Zainab, who they described as a "key witness" to the shootings. Her four-year-old sister wasn't able to provide the prosecutors with further information as she had been hiding at the time of the attack.

french campsite

The campsite where the family was holidaying before the tragedy


The family were staying in a caravan on Lake Annecy in France, close to the Swiss and Italian borders when they were attacked on Wednesday afternoon. A French cyclist was also shot twice in the same spot.

The professionalism of the massacre has led to speculation that a team of hitmen carried out the attack. However some media reports that Mr al-Hilli, an engineer who left Saddam Hussein's Iraq several years ago, was known to the security services and was put under surveillance by Metropolitan Police Special Branch during the second Gulf war.

french alps shooting

The al-Hilli family home in Surrey: police were continuing to search the house on Sunday to investigate any links between the family's life in England and the attack


A Scotland Yard spokesman said they could not comment. But it is understood there is no link between the deaths and any national security issues.

There has also been speculation that Mr al-Hilli, an aeronautics engineer, was killed because he was working on secret contracts for defence companies.

However friends and workmates have repeatedly said Mr al-Hilli was not working on secret projects, and had not signed the Official Secrets Act.

Witnesses have said they saw a green four-wheel-drive vehicle in the area at the time of the killings, and possibly a motorbike.

Investigators have found 25 spent bullet cartridges at the scene on the outskirts of a forest near Lake Annecy, while two mobile phones found in the al-Hilli's bullet-ridden BMW are being analysed by police.

The prosecutor revealed the family had visited France a number of times before and it was not the first time they had been to Le Solitaire du Lac campsite.

One theory is that shots could have been fired during a bungled armed robbery, with French cyclist Mr Mollier being a witness to the crime.


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  • Police around the BMW at scene of shooting in woods near Chevaline in the French Alps where british family and cyclist were shot dead

  • Police around the BMW at scene of shooting in woods near Chevaline in the French Alps where british family and cyclist were shot dead

  • French gendarmes talk with investigators near the caravan of the British family hit by gun attack on September 6, 2012 in the camping "Le Solitaire du lac" in the French Alpine village of Saint-Jorioz. A four-year-old girl spent hours curled up under her mother's body and miraculously survived the deadly attack that left her father, mother and grandmother dead and her elder sister seriously injured, officials said. (Photo credit: PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A French gendarme stands guard near the caravan of the British family hit by gun attack on September 6, 2012 in the camping "Le Solitaire du lac" in the French Alpine village of Saint-Jorioz. A four-year-old girl miraculously survived the deadly attack that left her father, mother and grandmother dead and her elder sister seriously injured, officials said. (Photo credit: PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A vehicle of rescuers arrives on Septembre 6, 2012, where four people were shot dead in or close to a British-registered car that was found in a forest car park on the edge of the French Alpine village of Chevaline. The car, a BMW, contained the bodies of a man, in the front, and two women who were seated in the back, police said. (Photo credit: JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A road sign is seen while a Gendarme blocks access to a killing site near Chevaline, French Alps, Wednesday Sept. 5, 2012. French authorities say at least four people have been shot to death in a forest in the Alps. An official with the regional administration for the Haute-Savoie region says three of the bodies were found in a BMW registered in Britain. (AP Photo/Alexis Moro)

  • Gendarmes block access to a killing site near Chevaline, French Alps, Wednesday Sept. 5, 2012. French authorities say at least four people have been shot to death in a forest in the Alps. An official with the regional administration for the Haute-Savoie region says three of the bodies were found in a BMW registered in Britain. (AP Photo/Alexis Moro)

  • Gendarmes block access to a killing site near Chevaline, French Alps, Wednesday Sept. 5, 2012. French authorities say at least four people have been shot to death in a forest in the Alps.An official with the regional administration for the Haute-Savoie region says three of the bodies were found in a BMW registered in Britain. (AP Photo/Alexis Moro)

  • Gendarmes block access to a killing site near Chevaline, French Alps, Wednesday Sept. 5, 2012. French authorities say at least four people have been shot to death in a forest in the Alps.An official with the regional administration for the Haute-Savoie region says three of the bodies were found in a BMW registered in Britain. (AP Photo/Alexis Moro)

  • Gendarmes block access to a killing site near Chevaline, French Alps, Wednesday Sept. 5, 2012. French authorities say at least four people have been shot to death in a forest in the Alps.An official with the regional administration for the Haute-Savoie region says three of the bodies were found in a BMW registered in Britain. (AP Photo/Alexis Moro)

  • Gendarmes block access to a killing site near Chevaline, French Alps, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012. French authorities say at least four people have been shot to death in a forest in the Alps. An official with the regional administration for the Haute-Savoie region says three of the bodies were found in a BMW registered in Britain. (AP Photo / Alexis Moro)

  • Gendarmes block access to a killing site near Chevaline, French Alps, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012. French authorities say at least four people have been shot to death in a forest in the Alps. An official with the regional administration for the Haute-Savoie region says three of the bodies were found in a BMW registered in Britain. (AP Photo / Alexis Moro)

  • A Gendarme's car heads to a killing site near Chevaline, French Alps, Wednesday Sept.5, 2012. French authorities say at least four people have been shot to death in a forest in the Alps. An official with the regional administration for the Haute-Savoie region says three of the bodies were found in a BMW registered in Britain. (AP Photo/Alexis Moro)

  • Alps shooting

    Members of the public arrive with flowers at the home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as French police investigating the murder of four people are sending four officers to the UK to work with British detectives and plan to search the house of victim Saad al-Hilli.

  • Alps shooting

    A police officer accepts flowers outside the home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as French police investigating the murder of four people are sending four officers to the UK to work with British detectives and plan to search the house of victim Saad al-Hilli.

  • Alps shooting

    A police officer lays flowers outside the home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as French police investigating the murder of four people are sending four officers to the UK to work with British detectives and plan to search the house of victim Saad al-Hilli.

  • Alps shooting

    British Scenes of Crime Officers (SOCO) outside the home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as French police investigating the murder of four people are sending four officers to the UK to work with British detectives and plan to search the house of victim Saad al-Hilli.

  • Alps shooting

    A British Scenes of Crime Officer (SOCO) outside the home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as French police investigating the murder of four people are sending four officers to the UK to work with British detectives and plan to search the house of victim Saad al-Hilli.

  • Alps shooting

    A British Scenes of Crime Officer (SOCO) outside the home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as French police investigating the murder of four people are sending four officers to the UK to work with British detectives and plan to search the house of victim Saad al-Hilli.

  • Alps shooting

    British Scenes of Crime Officers (SOCO) outside the home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as French police investigating the murder of four people are sending four officers to the UK to work with British detectives and plan to search the house of victim Saad al-Hilli.

  • Alps shooting

    British Scenes of Crime Officers (SOCO) outside the home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as French police investigating the murder of four people are sending four officers to the UK to work with British detectives and plan to search the house of victim Saad al-Hilli.

  • Alps shooting

    Forensic officers outside the home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as French police investigating the murder of four people are sending four officers to the UK to work with British detectives and plan to search the house of victim Saad al-Hilli.

  • Alps shooting

    Forensic officers outside the home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as French police investigating the murder of four people are sending four officers to the UK to work with British detectives and plan to search the house of victim Saad al-Hilli.

  • Alps shooting

    British police forensic officers Saturday Sept. 8, 2012, outside the home of Saad al-Hilli, in Claygate, Britain, during investigations into the death of four people shot dead on Wednesday in the French Alps. French police officers are expected to arrive Saturday in Britain as part of an investigation into the slayings of the British-Iraqi al-Hilli family members while vacationing in France. The children of the al-Hilli family survived the killing, as 4-year-old daughter Zeena stayed hidden below the body of her dead mother, and 7-year-old Zaina who was shot in the shoulder and beaten. (AP Photo / Steve Parsons, PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

  • Alps shooting

    British Scenes of Crime forensic officers (SOCO) Saturday Sept. 8, 2012, outside the home of Saad al-Hilli, in Claygate, Britain, during investigations into the death of four people shot dead on Wednesday in the French Alps. French police officers are expected to arrive Saturday in Britain as part of an investigation into the slayings of the British-Iraqi al-Hilli family members while vacationing in France. The children of the al-Hilli family survived the killing, as 4-year-old daughter Zeena stayed hidden below the body of her dead mother, and 7-year-old Zaina who was shot in the shoulder and beaten. (AP Photo / Steve Parsons, PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

  • Alps shooting

    British police officers places flower tributes Saturday Sept. 8, 2012, outside the home of Saad al-Hilli, in Claygate, Britain, during investigations into the death of four people shot dead on Wednesday in the French Alps. French police officers are expected to arrive Saturday in Britain as part of an investigation into the slayings of the British-Iraqi al-Hilli family members while vacationing in France. The children of the al-Hilli family survived the killing, as 4-year-old daughter Zeena stayed hidden below the body of her dead mother, and 7-year-old Zaina who was shot in the shoulder and beaten. (AP Photo / Steve Parsons, PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

  • Alps shooting

    British police forensic officers Saturday Sept. 8, 2012, outside the home of Saad al-Hilli, in Claygate, Britain, during investigations following the deaths of four people shot dead on Wednesday in the French Alps. French police officers are expected to arrive Saturday in Britain as part of an investigation into the slayings of the British-Iraqi al-Hilli family members while vacationing in France. The children of the al-Hilli family survived the killing, as 4-year-old daughter Zeena stayed hidden below the body of her dead mother, and 7-year-old Zaina who was shot in the shoulder and beaten. (AP Photo / Steve Parsons, PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

  • Alps shooting

    The home of Saad al-Hilli, in Claygate, Britain, who was shot dead on Wednesday with three others while vacationing in the French Alps, as it is secured by British police Saturday Sept. 8, 2012. French police officers are expected to arrive Saturday in Britain as part of an investigation into the slayings of the British-Iraqi al-Hilli family. The children of the al-Hilli family survived the killing, as 4-year-old daughter Zeena stayed hidden below the body of her dead mother, and 7-year-old Zaina who was shot in the shoulder and beaten. (AP Photo / Steve Parsons, PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

  • Alps shooting

    British police secure the area Saturday Sept. 8, 2012, outside the home of Saad al-Hilli, in Claygate, Britain, who was shot dead on Wednesday with three others while vacationing in the French Alps. French police officers are expected to arrive Saturday in Britain as part of an investigation into the slayings of the British-Iraqi al-Hilli family. The children of the al-Hilli family survived the killing, as 4-year-old daughter Zeena stayed hidden below the body of her dead mother, and 7-year-old Zaina who was shot in the shoulder and beaten. (AP Photo / Steve Parsons, PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

  • Alps shooting

    The home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as French police investigating the murder of four people are sending four officers to the UK to work with British detectives and plan to search the house of victim Saad al-Hilli.

  • Alps shooting

    Police outside the home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as French police investigating the murder of four people are sending four officers to the UK to work with British detectives and plan to search the house of victim Saad al-Hilli.

  • Alps shooting

    Police on Thursday Sept. 6, 2012 stand outside the home of Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, who has been named by French media as one of the members of a British family who was shot dead by a gunman in the French Alps. (AP Photo/Steve Parsons/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE

  • General view of the hospital of Grenoble , France, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, where the young British girl is hospitalized after four people were found shot to death on a forest road, last Wednesday, in the French alps. Immobilized with fear, a 4-year-old British girl huddled for eight hours beneath the legs of her slain mother in the back of a car filled with corpses on a remote Alpine road — all while French investigators stood nearby, unaware the girl was there. The stunning discovery Thursday of the girl, apparently unharmed, heightened the drama around a mysterious shooting rampage that left four adults dead and a 7-year-old girl hospitalized with bullet wounds and skull fractures. The reason for the killing, in a wooded area near the village of Chevaline, remains unclear. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • General view of the hospital of Grenoble , France, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, where the young british girl is hospitalized after four people were found shot to death on a forest road, on Wednesday, in the French alps. Immobilized with fear, a 4-year-old British girl huddled for eight hours beneath the legs of her slain mother in the back of a car filled with corpses on a remote Alpine road — all while French investigators stood nearby, unaware the girl was there. The stunning discovery Thursday of the girl, apparently unharmed, heightened the drama around a mysterious shooting rampage that left four adults dead and a 7-year-old girl hospitalized with bullet wounds and skull fractures. The reason for the killing, in a wooded area near the village of Chevaline, remains unclear. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

  • Alps shooting

    A Royal Logistic Corps bomb disposal truck arrives at the cordon close to the home of Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as police evacuated an area around his home due to "concerns" about items found at the address.

  • Alps shooting

    A Royal Logistic Corps bomb disposal truck arrives at the cordon close to the home of Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as police evacuated an area around his home due to "concerns" about items found at the address.

  • Alps shooting

    Police close to the home of Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as they evacuated an area around his home due to "concerns" about items found at the address.

  • Alps shooting

    Police stand outside the home of Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, who has been named by French media as one of the members of a British family who was shot dead by a gunman in the French Alps.

  • Alps shooting

    Police walk close to the home of Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as they evacuated an area around his home due to "concerns" about items found at the address.

  • Alps shooting

    Police close to the home of Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as they evacuated an area around his home due to "concerns" about items found at the address.

  • Alps shooting

    Police search teams leave the home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, after police resumed their search at the home of the family gunned down in the French Alps.

  • Alps shooting

    A police firearms officer at the home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as police resumed their search at the home of the family gunned down in the French Alps.

  • Alps shooting

    Police firearms officers at the home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as police resumed their search at the home of the family gunned down in the French Alps.

  • Alps shooting

    Police at the home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey, as police resumed their search at the home of the family gunned down in the French Alps.

  • Saad al-Hilli killed in the French Alps