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French Gunman surrounded...and guess what?

France gunman 'set to kill again'Latest[/*]Live[/*]Analysis[/*]Profile of gunman[/*]In pictures[/*]Video[/*]What we know[/*][/list]
The BBC's Christain Fraser looks at how the police tracked him down

Continue reading the main storyToulouse ShootingsLatest updatesLive[/*]Hewitt: Political fallout[/*]Victims buried in Israel[/*]In pictures: Toulouse raid[/*][/list]The Frenchman suspected of a spate of shootings in the Toulouse area planned more killings, prosecutors have said.

Anti-terror chief Francois Molins said the suspect, named as Mohammed Merah, 23, of Algerian descent, intended to kill a soldier and two police officers.

Merah, who says he was trained by al-Qaeda, is suspected of murdering three soldiers and four Jewish people.

Police have surrounded his flat and are trying to persuade him to surrender. He is said to be heavily armed.

Earlier reports said he had been captured, but officials later rebuffed the claims.

Continue reading the main storyAt the sceneRichard GalpinBBC News, ToulouseJust after President Sarkozy arrived in Toulouse for meetings at a military barracks close to where the siege is taking place, reports began circulating that it was all over, Mohammed Merah had been arrested.

But minutes later came the denials. First by local officials in Toulouse, then by the interior minister himself. It all added to the tension. How will the siege which began at 3am local time on Wednesday morning, be brought to an end?

Officially the French government says it wants to capture him alive so that he can stand trial on charges of murdering seven people and injuring at least two others.

But it will not be an easy operation if he decides to stand and fight. He is reported to have an automatic rifle, a sub machinegun and grenades inside his apartment.

The killings took place in and around Toulouse in three separate incidents earlier this month.

On 11 March, a soldier was shot and killed while waiting to see a man about selling his motorcycle.

Days later, two soldiers were shot and killed, and a third was wounded while waiting at a cash machine.

Then earlier this week, three children and an adult were shot and killed outside a Jewish school.

The four Jewish victims were buried in an emotional funeral in Jerusalem earlier.

In a news conference, Mr Molins said Merah had planned to kill a soldier later on Wednesday and also had plans to target the police.

"If he's telling the truth, he would have left his house this morning and he would have once again killed any soldier that he came across," the prosecutor said.

Mr Molins said the suspect had expressed no regret for the killings, but had said he wanted to kill more people and "bring France to its knees".

President Nicolas Sarkozy has attended a memorial at a military base in nearby Montauban for the three murdered soldiers.

Continue reading the main storyHunt for French killerFrance has seen an unprecedented security clampdown after a lone gunman killed seven people, including three children, in three separate attacks in the south-west of the country.

Police tracked down the main suspect after investigating the movements of a stolen scooter used by the killer to make his escape following shootings in Toulouse and nearby Montauban.

1/6He earlier told Jewish community leaders that the gunmen had been planning more attacks before police had surrounded his apartment block.

'Vengeance' claimPolice moved into Merah's block after two officers were shot at when they tried to get into his flat.

Officials say he is heavily armed with a Kalashnikov high-velocity rifle, a mini-Uzi 9mm machine pistol, several handguns and possibly grenades.

Continue reading the main storyMohammed MerahFrench citizen of Algerian extraction, aged 23[/*]Has criminal record in France for non-terrorist crimes[/*]Has described himself as an al-Qaeda member and has spent time in Afghanistan and Pakistan[/*][/list]Profile: Mohammed Merah[/*]French shootings: What we know[/*][/list]The five-storey block of flats was evacuated earlier, and police were also moving residents of nearby buildings.

Hundreds of officers are now stationed outside the block.

Elsewhere in the city, police are hunting for accomplices and have detained several members of his family.

His mother was taken to the scene in the hope that she could persuade him to surrender, but she told police that she had no influence over her son.

Negotiators have been talking to Merah all morning, but officials said he appeared to have no particular demands.

The suspect has said he acted to "avenge Palestinian children" and said he would give himself up.

Nicolas Sarkozy: "The soldiers were targeted because they were part of the French army"

Merah claimed to have received al-Qaeda training in Pakistan's Waziristan area, and also said he had been to Afghanistan, prosecutors said.

Afghan officials told the BBC he had been jailed in Kandahar for planting bombs in 2007, but escaped in a Taliban-led break-out in 2008.

Other Afghan sources cast doubt on the claims, saying the man jailed in Kandahar might have been a different person with the same name.

Mr Molins said Merah had visited Afghanistan twice.

He gave no details of the first visit, but said that during his second trip last year, Merah was captured by Afghan forces and handed to the Americans, who put him on a plane back to France.

But American officials told CNN that US forces had not dealt with Merah, and that the Afghans had handed him to French forces, who had returned him to France.

Added: Mar-21-2012 Occurred On: Mar-21-2012
By: dietcokesucks
World News
Tags: Al-quieda, french gunman, crime, tragedy, alert
Views: 3597 | Comments: 16 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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  • How could any human grab a little girl by the hair and shoot her in the head three times?????
    I hope they kill him.
    Not interested in hearing his side of the story.

    Posted Mar-21-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'PimeTaradox' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
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  • Did the French surrendered?

    Posted Mar-21-2012 By 

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  • He should surrender with dignity and come out wearing his suicide vest.

    Posted Mar-21-2012 By 

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  • BBC has decent coverage and updates.
    It's a shame the left got all excited in thinking the freedom fighter was a right wing nut.

    Posted Mar-21-2012 By 

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  • shoot the cunt pigs piss be upon mo ham head

    Posted Mar-21-2012 By 

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  • A French called Muhammad ? Sounds like the 21st century will be full of surprises !

    Posted Mar-21-2012 By 

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  • Fill the apartment with tear gas. When he comes out, shoot him. Why can't the French do this shit properly? If they need advice, call the Russians, Isrealis, or the Americans. They are all pros at this sort of thing. I don't see how one guy can stand off an entire police force with no hostages.

    Posted Mar-21-2012 By 

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  • It will take a lot more than this guy for the French to take the Muslim threat seriously.

    Posted Mar-21-2012 By 

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    • @Meathead12
      this guy is exactly like the christian soldier who killed 16 innocent people in afghanistan so don't play the religion card.france killed 1.5 million people in algeria and tested nuclear weapons in the algerian desert.

      Posted Mar-21-2012 By 

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    • @johnj78

      It's not the religion card I'm playing. Anyone not convinced the object of Islam is Sharia law throughout the world doesn't have their eyes open. If any one European country should be aware of this, it's France.

      Posted Mar-21-2012 By 

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