Toulouse: A man suspected of killing a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school and three soldiers remained holed up in a Toulouse apartment block surrounded by police for 12 hours, amid conflicting reports of his arrest.
While a police officer in Toulouse said the man had been arrested, Interior Minister Claude Gueant’s office denied it. The 24-year-old man has said he may give himself up in afternoon, Gueant said. The suspect, Mohammad Merah, is a French national of Algerian origin, who claims ties to Al Qaida, spent time in the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, Gueant said.
“He doesn’t have any specific demands; he just wants to talk about his jihadist, mujahideen convictions, his Al Qaida ties,” the minister said. “The attack on the Jewish school he says was to avenge attacks on Palestinian children. He also wants to protest the French military’s international missions.”