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Explosions, Gunfire At Sight Of Standoff With Murder Suspect In France

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
March 22, 2012

It’s too soon to say it’s all over, but there are signs that the long standoff with a man suspected of killing at least seven people in and around Toulouse, France, may be near an end.

France 24 reports “elite forces have entered [the] Toulouse suspect’s apartment, police sources say.”

The BBC says “gunfire was heard near the apartment block in the city of Toulouse, with reports police had met resistance but that the suspect was now dead.” That report of the suspect being dead is not confirmed.

According to The Associated Press, gunfire and explosions have been heard. The standoff is now in its second day.

The man thought to be inside the apartment, French-Algerian Mohammed Merah, is wanted for the killings of three soldiers earlier this month, and three Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi this week.

As NPR’s Corey Flintoff wrote for us Wednesday, Merah has reportedly claimed to be a member of al-Qaida and has told authorities he carried out the killings to avenge the deatlsh of Palestinian children and to protest the French military’s presence in Afghanistan.

We will keep an eye on what’s happening and update this post as the story develops. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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