Toulouse Siege: 3 Shots Heard, No Contact Overnight

World | March 22, 2012, Thursday // 12:24|  views

Mohammed Merah is a French citizen of Algerian extraction, aged 23. Photo by BBC

French authorities have had no contact overnight with Mohammed Merah, who is suspected in seven recent killings and is holed up in an apartment in the southern French city of Toulouse.

"There were two gunshots in the night at 2 a.m. and we don't know what they correspond to," Pierre-Henry Brandet, the French Interior Ministry spokesman said Thursday.

Later reports said that three gunshots were heard.

"Since then we have not heard anything from him, our attempts to contact him have not yielded any results. He had said earlier in the night that he wanted to die with weapons in his hands."

Interior Minister Claude Gueant expressed his concern in an interview with RTL Radio.

"We hope that he is still alive," he said. "We have a priority to hand him over to the authorities."

Merah, 23, is wanted in the killings of three French paratroopers and of three students and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse, in a string of shootings that began on March 11. He opened fire on police as they tried to break down his apartment door about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, wounding two officers, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

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Tags: Toulouse, Mohammed Merah


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