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NANTERRE, France (AP) _ A man opened fire at the end of a city council meeting in a Paris suburb early Wednesday, killing at least eight people and wounding at least 19 others, rescue officials said.

At least 14 of the wounded were in serious condition. Dozens of police vehicles and more than 100 rescue officials flooded the scene in the western Paris suburb of Nanterre. A rescue helicopter took the wounded to a nearby hospital.

Police arrested the suspected gunman but did not provide detail on how the apprehension occurred. The suspect was not identified.

The motive was not immediately clear. However, the gunman knew the officials at whom he was firing, said Yves Bot, a state prosecutor in Nanterre. Police said the man did not make any comment following the attack.

The bloody fusilade took place at about 1:15 a.m. as some 40 people attending the meeting were putting on their coats to leave. Nanterre is a middle-class neighborhood near a business district of western Paris.

Prime Minister Lionel Jospin rushed to the scene. Rising crime has risen to the top of France's political agenda ahead of presidential elections in the spring.

Thousands of police officers held nationwide strikes in December, saying they deserve more pay and better equipment because their jobs have become increasingly risky. The protests started after two officers were shot and killed during an armed robbery in a Paris suburb in October.

In October, a masked gunman opened fire in the central French city of Tours, killing four people.