Outrage as Toulouse Killer's Last Words Aired on TV

World | July 9, 2012, Monday // 16:06|  views

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

A French TV channel has broadcast recordings of conversations between the Islamist killer Mohamed Merah and police, triggering a huge scandal.

The dialogue, recorded during the siege in Toulouse in which Merah died, was played by the TF1 channel on Sunday.

Relatives of Merah's victims were "outraged" that the exchanges had been broadcast, their lawyers said.

Mohamed Merah died in a police assault on his flat in Toulouse on 22 March after a 32-hour siege. He had killed three soldiers in two separate attacks before shooting dead three children and a teacher at a Jewish school.

Merah, born in France of Algerian descent, is said to have told police he wanted to avenge Palestinian children and to attack the French army because of its foreign interventions.

Merah made a video recording of his attacks, using a camera strapped to his chest, and in late March al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based satellite TV channel, received a copy on a USB memory stick. The channel decided not to run the footage or give it to any other media outlet.

In the audio clips, broadcast by TF1, Merah tells a negotiator: "I know you may kill me, it's a risk I'm taking. So there you are, you know you're confronting a man who doesn't fear death. I love death the way you love life."

TF1 is understood to have four-and-a-half hours of recordings in total, during which Merah also claims to have links with al-Qaeda "brothers" in Pakistan.

France's Interior Minister Manuel Valls condemned the decision by TF1 to broadcast audio clips of the negotiations, saying it showed a lack of respect to relatives of the victims.

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Tags: Toulouse, Mohammed Merah


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