French police have cornered a man who claims to have al-Qaeda links in an apartment building in Toulouse Wednesday morning. He is suspected to be the gunman who killed three schoolchildren and a rabbi on Monday in the southern French city, as well as three paratroopers last week in nearby Montauban.
In a pre-dawn raid, police exchanged fire with the man, who French authorities say may have escaped from a prison in Afghanistan in a massive jailbreak in 2008, when more than 1,000 prisoners escaped from Kandahar’s main prison. The suspect has been identified as Mohammed Merah, a 24-year-old French national of Algerian origin.
During the raid, the man threw a pistol out of the apartment’s window and reportedly told negotiators he’ll surrender sometime in the afternoon, but he’s said to have other heavier guns and has since stopped talking to the negotiators. The standoff is ongoing.
Meanwhile in Paris, a bomb exploded outside the Indonesian embassy, causing damages to nearby windows and cars, but injured nobody, according to a source who spoke to Reuters.