Hostages Held In France Toulouse Bank Incident

Posted by on Jun 20, 2012 | Comments Off on Hostages Held In France Toulouse Bank Incident

 

Four people have been taken hostage in a bank in the French city of Toulouse by a man claiming to be linked to al-Qaeda, police say.

The man fired a shot and demanded to speak to the elite police unit which shot Islamist gunman Mohamed Merah.

Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman of Algerian descent, killed seven people in three separate attacks. His victims included three children and a teacher at a Jewish school, and three soldiers.

Merah, who claimed to have al-Qaeda training, killed seven people in Toulouse in March before he was shot dead by police.

The director of the bank, a branch of CIC, is said to be among the hostages.

The regional newspaper Ouest-France says the area around the bank has been sealed off by the security forces.

“We do not know if his claim about al-Qaeda is serious or a fantasy,” a police union source told Ouest-France.

The BBC’s Christian Fraser, in Paris, says the bank is 100 metres (330ft) from Merah’s flat.

He was shot dead by a police sniper on 22 March after commandos stormed his flat.

In the wake of the shootings, the French authorities set up an investigation into whether Merah had accomplices and into possible Islamist indoctrination practices in prisons.

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