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BREAKING: French Shooter Dead After 32-Hour Siege

BREAKING: French Shooter Dead After 32-Hour Siege

Mohammed Merah, the gunman suspected in the shooting deaths of three French soldiers and four people outside a Jewish school in Toulouse, is dead. After a 32-hour standoff, police entered his apartment at 9:30 GMT after throwing grenades. Merah appeared from a bathroom firing several weapons and jumped out of a window to his death while still firing.

UPDATE, 4:30pm EST: The BBC reports that a police sniper shot and killed Merah as he tried to jump out the bathroom window of his apartment. He was wearing a bulletproof vest under his clothes and held a gun hidden by a pair of jeans. Ingredients to make Molotov cocktails were found on the balcony as well as video footage of the three attacks that he had carried out.

Interior Minister Clause Guéant said that, according to a RAID [special police] officer, “he had never seen such a violent assault.”  During the siege, a number of explosions had been set off in the hopes of intimidating Merah. He had said that he had killed his seven victims to “avenge Palestinian children,” described himself as a member of Al Qaida and claimed he was armed with a Kalashnikov high-velocity rifle, a mini-Uzi 9mm machine pistol, several handguns and possibly grenades.

French Muslim leaders interviewed by the New York Times have urged French citizens “not to stigmatize Muslims.” A 25-year-old man in Paris, Farouk, said that the North African Muslim community is “disgusted with what has happened — it’s we who suffer, it’s we who will be criticized” and described Islamophobia as the “new face” of racism. A mathematics professor in LIlle, Meghani, said that “I wish the European population would understand that Muslims themselves are also victims of terrorism and of radical Islam.”

President Nicholas Sarkozy, who attended the funeral of the three soldiers in the city of Montaubanon Wednesday, has placed France on its highest “scarlet” level of security.

The New York Times suggests that Merah seems “another example of the kind of homegrown terrorist, with a European nationality and passport, considered a major security threat” at a time when Al Qaida does not seem to be such a “coherent organization.” Merah claimed that he had spent time in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He had been previously jailed for robbery from December 2007 to September 2009, according to his lawyer, Christian Etelin. Police said they had found explosives in a car beloning to Merah’s brother, Abdelkader, who has been arrested as well as their mother and a friend of Abdelkader.

Related Care2 Coverage

French Gunman Planned to Kill Again, Under Siege With Police

4 Killed Outside Jewish School in Southern France

Gay Tunisian in France Fears Being Deported to a Hostile Country

 

 

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Photo by Jayel Aheram

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19 comments

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3:57PM PDT on Mar 24, 2012

@ Ahron E…”Was Muhammed incited by the picture of a child who died in 2006 from falling off a swing in Gaza” Surely you are not suggesting that he wouldn’t have been incited, as he said, by the hundreds of innocent Palestinian children killed by Israeli bombs, white phosphorous and cluster bombs, or those left homeless and hungry in Gaza, the new version of the Warsaw ghetto ? And when you remind me of the pitifully ineffective rockets fired into Israel, be sure to claim that the Jewish terrorist organizations Irgun, Haganah and the Stern gang, as well as the Israeli soldiers who broke the bones of stone throwing children in the Intifada, were only defending themselves from Palestinian aggression. I don’t give this as an excuse for tit for tat but it was an unrequited provocation.



7:21PM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Who in their right mind names a security level "scarlet"?... Oh wait, the French!

That being said, this is just going to fan the flames of the big racism problem looming over Europe by a lot.

3:14PM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Hatred is the culprit here. When you hate and you have other members in Society agreeing with you, you have no guilt. You can actually believe that your actions are for the good of Society. Hatred crosses all boundaries - not just religion.

2:22PM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Actually, in a gesture of disapproval... MUSLIMS should be burning a copy of the Koran for every non-Muslim massacred in the hosting nation they have been welcomed into... this would be the ONLY TRUE sign of showing that their religion isn't as murderous as we suspect they are. I would do the EXACT same thing to a BIBLE, as a Christian, if so required as a sign of similar gesture of disapproval.

SaintSuelle

2:16PM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Some people have a limited view of this situation. The Muslims that are still alive have to deal with the killings and the emotions behind them all. Some people would accuse them to be the problem. As you can see by some of the responses written here.

10:32AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

7 Korans should be burnt in memory and a warning of more Koran burning for every victim of Muslim terroism maybe this would put and end to this senseless terror. Was Muhammed incited by the picture of a child who died in 2006 from falling off a swing in Gaza as presented as being colatoral damage from an Israel raid of rocket launching terroist, tweeted by a UN worker.

10:17AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Good riddance to the bum. I hope those cops lubricated their rounds with pork lard!

9:07AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Religious fanaticism as an excuse for perpetrating violence is not exclusive to the Muslim faith. We have people in the USA who under the guise of Christianity firebomb reproductive health clinics and shoot doctors to protest abortions instead of protesting the sending of our young people to their deaths in war against other human beings. It's the extremism of any flavor that endangers us. If there is a God, that being is probably up there shaking a head in disbelief at what religions of most stripes have unleashed upon the world.

9:01AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

I can't believe it, but I actually agree with Jeffrey W.

8:31AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Thanks

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