As it happened: Toulouse gunman dead

Key points

  • The gunman alleged to have killed seven people in the French city of Toulouse has been killed by snipers after a 32-hour siege.
  • Authorities say Mohammed Merah killed a teacher and three children at a Jewish school and three soldiers - and filmed the murders.
  • The man has claimed affiliation to al-Qaeda and said he acted to "avenge Palestinian children". He also fought with the Taliban in Afghanistan, authorities say.

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  1.  
    0030:

    Welcome to the BBC coverage of the continuing siege in Toulouse where a gunman suspected of killing seven people is holed up - nearly 24 hours after being surrounded by armed police.

    It has been generally quiet - not much has happened in the past hour - but now gunshots have been heard at the site of the stand-off.

     
  2.  
    0155:

    Still no sign of a full-scale assault on suspect's building. "It's not as simple as that. We are waiting," Toulouse prosecutor Michel Valet says.

     
  3.  
    0220:

    All appears quiet around the building where Mohammed Merah has now been holed up for 24 hours. Police attempted to arrest him at around 0300 on Wednesday, but held back when a gun battle erupted, injuring two policemen.

     
  4.  
    0302:

    It emerges that the suspect, Mohammed Merah, was not jailed in Afghanistan in 2007, as was being reported earlier. This was based on information from Kandahar prison chief Ghulam Faruq.

     
  5.  
    0309:

    John Irish, a journalist from the Reuters news agency at the scene, tells the BBC there is a feeling of shock and surprise among the residents of Toulouse.

     
  6.  
    0334:

    John Irish described what he heard: "Around 2.30 there was an exchange of fire. It wasn't very long, I think two shots on each side, and then about 20 minutes ago and that was even less. That was I think one shot."

     
  7.  
    0441:

    "French anti-terror police play a waiting game" is Thursday morning's headline in Le Monde

     
  8.  
    0633:

    The BBC's Richard Galpin at the scene says that as day breaks in Toulouse, police have moved journalists further down the road, away from the apartment. He says it is unclear whether negotiations with Mohamed Merah are continuing.

     
  9.  
    0634:

    French Interior Minister Claude Gueant tells Le Monde that a strategy of taking "minimal risks" has been adopted. "We don't want anyone hurt."

     
  10.  
    0649:

    A source close to the team dealing with Mohamed Merah has told French media that he is in a "very closed posture" since last night. "He does not want to go, he seems very determined," said the source without specifying what he meant.

     
  11.  
    0701:

    The French interior minister tells AFP that Mohamed Merah "wants to die with a gun in his hand".

     
  12.  
    0704:

    AFP says Interior Minister Claude Gueant is not sure that Merah wants to stay alive.

     
  13.  
    0706:

    The BBC's Richard Galpin at the scene

     
  14.  
    0711:

    The BBC's Richard Galpin at the scene says there is no confirmation of the reports on AFP from Interior Minister Claude Gueant that Merah may not be allive, and he is trying to find more information.

     
  15.  
    0714:

    This image on France 2 TV is said to show the gunman, Mohammed Merah.

    Image on France 2 TV said to show Mohammed Merah
     
  16.  
    0715:

    Interior Minister Gueant has been speaking to the French radio station RTL. He told them it was "strange" that there was no movement in Merah's apartment, and police had no contact with him overnight.

     
  17.  
    0731:

    Broadcaster Europe1 says the siege is now the longest seen in France since 1993. It has spoken to a former negotiator for the French RAID special forces who said explosions such as those heard overnight are used to leave a suspect in a "state of tension which could help unblock his reactions". But he added that the fact he has admitted to being an extremist "may not be a good sign".

     
  18.  
    0740:

    French Interior Minister Claude Gueant told RTL radio that during the night "we heard two shots, we don't know what they were".

     
  19.  
    John, in France,

    emails: There is no pressure on the police to end this quickly as there would be if hostages were involved. Assuming there is no way the man can escape there are just three ways this will end; he can surrender and come out with his hands up, he can come out shooting and be cut down, he can shoot himself inside the flat. The best option, I think, is the first one.

     
  20.  
    Christopher, in Sudan,

    emails: I am so sad to hear about the shooting of innocent children and I don't know why the French government took that long to trace the suspect.

     
  21.  
    Sarah, in Virginia, US,

    emails: What's taking so long? Want our Swat forces to show the French how to do it?

     
  22.  
    0753:

    The BBC's Richard Galpin says the French Interior Claude Gueant is now in Toulouse, having arrived at the siege in a motorcade.

     
  23.  
    0807:

    The vice-president of the Muslim cultural centre in Toulouse, Abdellatif Mellouki, told broadcaster Europe1 that he feared Muslims could be stigmatised by other people as a result of the attacks. "It's a worry that started a week ago and continues, although there haven't been any particular gestures. But the majority of people are lucid and intelligent and don't think like that."

     
  24.  
    Thomas, in Angola,

    emails: Having spent a large period of my life living in Toulouse, I think this whole event will come as a great shock to Toulouse. There will be continued anger and tension for a prolonged period of time once this all comes to a conclusion.

     
  25.  
    Glenn, in New Mexico,

    emails: The suspect is not going anywhere. Why risk life and property in a precipitous assault? He can't hold out forever.

     
  26.  
    Stuart, in Spain,

    emails: As an ex-Policeman I think the French are doing this just right. They need to ensure they do not have any further, unnecessary casualties so they don't need to be gun ho. The only shame is that with all they seemed to know about the suspect they weren't able to arrest him for something before the killings.

     
  27.  
    0812:

    #Raid, Mohamed Merah and #Toulouse now trending on Twitter in France.

     
  28.  
    0815:

    Here's the latest gallery of images from Toulouse.

     
  29.  
    0820:

    The leader of the far-right National Front, Marine le Pen, has told France Info: "For 10 years I've been saying that the threat from fundamentalists has been under-estimated. The angels of the left have held back the right. We must investigate the finances of Salafists, and certain imams. We must pursue Muslim fundamentalists." She also called on all Muslims "on our side" to fight against fundamentalism.

     
  30.  
    0848:
    A black GIPN van at the Belle Paule residence, 22 March 2012 Members of the GIPN (French National Police Intervention Group) are on the scene.

    A recent picture from the siege shows a van from the GIPN, the French National Police Intervention Group which has just pulled up outside the apartment.

     
  31.  
    0906:

    The French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has told broadcaster Europe1 that he hoped it would become clear whether any mistakes had been made in the surveillance of Mohammed Merah. "I understand that people have asked the question whether there were any failures," he said. But at the moment they were unable to provide an answer, he said.

     
  32.  
    A. T in Toulouse

    writes: Oh God, I hope this negotiation will end soon and things will return to normal. I am tired of seeing police everywhere in Toulouse.

     
  33.  
    0927:

    Europe1 is speculating that a police assault may be imminent. Its correspondent at the scene says police seem to be getting restless, and a fire-engine has been moved to block the road.

     
  34.  
    0931:

    Explosions heard near the block of flats - images show black smoke rising

     
  35.  
    0933:

    A few minutes ago Le Figaro said members of the RAID police intervention force had been deployed in the apartment next to where Mohamed Merah is holed up.

     
  36.  
    Ed in Manchester

    writes: Two years ago I spent seven months living just two blocks away from this address. It is shocking to see such a calm and quiet area embroiled in such turmoil.

     
  37.  
    0935:

    French media says there were a total of three explosions within a few moments of each other.

     
  38.  
    0934:

    The interior minister is at the scene.

     
  39.  
    0936:

    FranceInfo says the three explosions were "very powerful" and louder than the ones heard during the night.

     
  40.  
    0940:

    Le Monde says the explosions were similar to the grenades used during the night. Its reporter said it did not sound like gunfire.

     
  41.  
    Guillaume in Toulouse

    writes: Everybody in my office has been watching the news since yesterday. We can see lot of police in the street and we hear a lot of police sirens. I think [commando unit] RAID and [special operations unit] GIGN are not sure if Mohammed's flat is safe or not. It may be filled with explosive and the area is very populated so there is a risk of killing civilians.

     
  42.  
    0947:

    A police source speaking to FranceInfo says the explosions were stun grenades designed to destabilise the suspect and make him lose his bearings.

     
  43.  
    0950:

    After the explosions an emergency medical vehicle entered the security perimeter, according to the AFP news agency.

     
  44.  
    Sarah in Toulouse

    writes: It is a tragedy what has happened to those soldiers and to those innocent children. I for one do not care whether Merah is holed up in his apartment for six more hours or six more days, just as long as he stays there and is not able to destroy any more lives. He will be brought to justice, but in the meantime the streets of Toulouse are just that little bit safer.

     
  45.  
    0952:

    Thomas Withington, a security expert who has a direct view of the siege scene, has told the BBC that the police seem to be losing patience and now want to get Mohammed Merah out dead or alive.

     
  46.  
    0954:

    French media are reporting what may look like the beginning of an operation to enter the building where Mohammed Merah is hiding.

     
  47.  
    1001:
    A line of journalists behind a police cordon

    Journalists at the scene of the siege have been moved some distance from the apartment, which must be making it difficult for them to know exactly what is happening.

     
  48.  
    1003:

    The siege is "coming to an end", according to a police source speaking to AFP.

     
  49.  
    1004:

    Police sources tell France 2 TV that RAID troops have entered Mohammed Merah's flat. There is no confirmation.

     
  50.  
    1009:

    The French Interior Minister Claude Gueant would not confirm that an assault is taking place, but said there were "movements" going on, according to Le Monde journalist Soren Seelow, who spoke to him on the phone. "The operation that's been going on for 30 hours continues, with ups and downs. There are movements at the moment," he said.

     
  51.  
    Pamela Rae Schuffert in Alaska, USA

    writes: As an independent journalist in America, I have been following this tragedy minute by minute, even though it is now 2:00 AM Thursday morning here in Alaska. Americans are horrified over this tragedy in France, and our hearts go out collectively to the surviving family members of these terrible attacks.Pamela Rae Schuffert, Alaska, USA

     
  52.  
    1012:

    A police source tells AFP that officers are now inside the suspect's apartment

     
  53.  
    1021:

    TF1 reports that the "denouement" to the siege is under way. It says RAID special intervention forces say Mohammed Merah is in the bathroom of his apartment.

     
  54.  
    1028:

    Gunshots and explosions are heard at the scene.

     
  55.  
    1031:

    Reuters says police are using gas in an attempt to paralyse the suspect.

     
  56.  
  57.  
    1034:

    The BBC's Jon Whitney from the scene at the Toulouse siege says he has just heard at least 10 to 12 gunshots followed by another burst of gunfire.

     
  58.  
    Afnaan in Toulouse, France

    writes: Drove past Merah's flat yesterday and I can't believe it is minutes away from where I am staying. Police, fire engines, journalists, TV equipment everywhere. It's unsettling to know that even in Toulouse, these types of attacks can still happen. Good to know that the police have taken swift action and have cornered him, as there was an uneasy feeling amongst those here knowing he was still out there.

     
  59.  
    1036:

    AFP says the gunman is dead, according to a police source.

     
  60.  
    1039:

    The BBC's Chris Bockman who's at the scene in Toulouse has heard unconfirmed reports from residents who've just left the area that the gunman is dead, with a gun still in his hand.

     
  61.  
    1043:

    AFP says three police officers have been wounded, one "fairly seriously", according to a police source.

     
  62.  
    1046: Christian Fraser BBC News, Toulouse

    says a gurney has been pulled out of one ambulance and the ambulance has driven toward the apartment. Firefighters have moved in towards the flat.

     
  63.  
    Emma Faulkner in Toulouse, France

    writes: Living a ten minute walk away from the scene of the siege, I have just started to hear continued gun fire for the first time. Let's hope that the troops can get him out without any further deaths or injuries, so that this tragedy can start to be brought to an end.

     
  64.  
    1047:

    Le Monde says several police officers have been injured, and the office of President Nicolas Sarkozy confirms that Mohammed Merah is dead.

     
  65.  
    1052:

    Le Figaro also says a police source has told its journalist that the suspect is dead.

     
  66.  
    1054:

    Le Monde reports a police source saying 300 shots were fired during the operation to enter Mohammed Merah's apartment, during which three officers were injured.

     
  67.  
    1057:

    There is still no official confirmation that the gunman is dead.

     
  68.  
    1056:

    Europe1 says it understands that Mohammed Merah resisted being taken alive by opening fire from the balcony of his apartment.

     
  69.  
    1101:

    Interior Minister Claude Gueant says there was no reaction from the apartment, they stormed the door and used windows to get in. The forces used video to inspect rooms inside the apartment, and there was no sign of the man, who stayed in his bathroom. When they started to inspect it he came out of the bathroom shooting with ferocity that those at the scene had not seen before.

     
  70.  
    1102:

    Mr Gueant said after a few moments of shooting he was found dead. Two officers were injured. He also paid tribute to the officers and all the authorities who carried out the operation.

     
  71.  
    1105:

    In describing the final moments of the confrontation, Mr Gueant said the policeman tried to protect themselves from the assault by Mohammed Merah. At the end Merah jumped through a window with one weapon in his hand still shooting, and he was then found dead on the ground.

     
  72.  
    1109:

    The BBC's Hugh Schofield in Paris says there will be immense relief among French politicians that the siege is over. He says there will be frustration that he wasn't captured alive, but they will say it's vital not to take any risks and to go in with full force.

     
  73.  
    1111:
    The French Interior Minister Claude Gueant next to a special forces van

    The French Interior Minister Claude Gueant at the scene a few minutes ago.

     
  74.  
    1111:

    Mr Gueant said Mohammed Merah was using several weapons when he burst out of the bathroom.

     
  75.  
    1124: Christian Fraser BBC News, Toulouse

    says Mr Gueant was still receiving information from his senior officers as he walked towards the "camera point" where he spoke to journalists. One police source has told French media that officers there had never seen anything like it, Merah "came out all guns blazing". He then went back into the bathroom where he jumped out the window, and was then found dead on the ground outside.

     
  76.  
    Mark Wilson in the West Midlands, UK

    writes: I wonder how this tragedy will impact the relationship between French Algerians and their government. Let's hope that efforts are made to reassure those who are sometimes at risk from a backlash in these situations.

     
  77.  
    1126:

    French government officials say President Sarkozy will give a press conference at 13:00 local time (12:00 GMT)

     
  78.  
    1129:

    Mr Gueant did not spell out which floor Merah fell from, but Le Monde has just said it was on the first floor.

     
  79.  
    1131:

    Le Monde has reaction from Mohammed Merah's former lawyer Christian Etelin, who said the way the siege ended was the "logical result of the strategy adopted by the police". "By surrounding him more and more radically, and cutting him off from reality, nothing could be done to re-establish a dialogue."

     
  80.  
    1136:

    Le Monde has seen a communique from the Elysee Palace, where it says President Sarkozy met his senior ministers and officials at midday local time (11:00 GMT). He is giving a press conference at 1300 local (12:00 GMT).

     
  81.  
    1139:

    The French officers injured in the gunfight did not suffer life-threatening injuries, according to Interior Minister Claude Gueant.

     
  82.  
    1142: Christian Fraser BBC News, Toulouse

    says police and forensic officers are bound to be examining the flat for evidence about Merah's activities, and also for anything else which could link him to other extremist activities.

     
  83.  
    1148:

    The president of the regional Council of Jews, Nicole Yardeni, told Le Monde: "This man doesn't interest me, he is only an instrument of death. We are trying to organise a large march on Sunday for every citizen of Toulouse, not just for us."

     
  84.  
    Romain Merlozzi in France

    writes: A great sense of relief is currently being felt throughout France. This operation has actually been seen as a victory for the right wing UMP party of Mr Sarkozy and these happenings will actually make the French re-think there previously pre-conceived thoughts of a Socialist victory in the upcoming elections.

     
  85.  
    1156:

    The leader of the opposition Socialist Party, Francois Hollande, says the death of Merah "marked the end of a period of unbearable anguish. This killer showed he was extremely dangerous, and I salute the courage and determination of the RAID special forces."

    "The campaign against terrorism must continue without let-up," Mr Hollande said, adding that France always comes out stronger as a result of such incidents.

     
  86.  
    1159:

    The leader of the far-right National Front party, Marine Le Pen, said the death of Merah was "predictable" because he had said he would fight to the end. "I doubt that anyone in France will shed a tear," she added.

     
  87.  
    1159:

    Lydia, a caller in Toulouse on BBC World Have Your Say (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/bbc_world_service), describes a sense of "relief" in the city. Contribute on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/worldhaveyoursay) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/BBC_WHYS)

     
  88.  
    1210:

    We are expecting President Sarkosy to address the French nation in a speech televised live from the Elysee Palace.

     
  89.  
    Policemen and medics seen near the block of flats after the assault that killed Mohammed Merah

    Policemen and medics seen near the block of flats after the assault that killed Mohammed Merah

     
  90.  
    Cynthia Johnson in Toulouse, France

    writes: To paint the cause of this tragedy as Islamic terrorism is to miss the point. This young man was not a religious extremist, from the reports about him. He went to bars, had no beard or outward religious behaviour. The root cause must be found in his 10 years of ordinary petty criminal behaviour, social exclusion and lack of education.

     
  91.  
    1227:

    President Sarkozy tells the French nation it was necessary to kill Mohammed Merah because, he said "we've had enough dead as it is"

     
  92.  
    1228:

    President Sarkozy also said the government would act to punish anyone who "goes online to express sympathy for terrorists".

     
  93.  
    1231:

    Sarkozy: The French Republic will "implacably defend its values", and people travelling abroad to be "indoctrinated" by terror groups would be punished.

     
  94.  
    1244:

    Mr Sarkozy also said he ordered an investigation into whether radical Islamist ideologies are being propagated in France's prisons. "Our prisons should not become breeding grounds for indoctrination."

     
  95.  
    President Sarkozy addressing the nation on 23 March 2012

    "France will not tolerate forced recruitment or ideological indoctrination on its soil," Mr Sarkozy said in his televised address.

     
  96.  
    Photo of members of the RAID special police forces unit leaving the scene after the assault that killed Mohammed Merah.

    Photo of members of the RAID special police forces unit leaving the scene after the assault in which Mohammed Merah died.

     
  97.  
    1307:

    France's top anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins is expected to give a news conference in Toulouse at 1330 GMT.

     
  98.  
    Firefighters after the assault

    Firefighters stand down after the police assault in which Mohammed Merah died

     
  99.  
    1330:

    Le Monde's Soren Seelow, who tweeted from the site of the siege throughout the night, writes that he is ending his live-tweet marathon after 31 hours. That's 230 tweets, 10,000 followers, 14 phone recharges, 12 coffees, 6 beers, 3 packets of cigarettes and one hour of sleep, he adds.

     
  100.  
    1342:

    French anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins is speaking and giving more details of the siege.

     
  101.  
    1345:

    The gunman filmed all three attacks, he says.

     
  102.  
    1346:

    Mohammed Merah was killed by a bullet in the head from a police sniper as he tried to flee, Mr Molins said.

     
  103.  
    1346:

    "We did everything we could to arrest him alive," the prosecutor said.

     
  104.  
    1347:

    The gunman was wearing a bulletproof vest and shot at police as they entered the apartment about 30 times using a Colt .45.

     
  105.  
    1349:

    Investigations are continuing to see if he had accomplices.

     
  106.  
    1352:

    The prosecutor says that police identified Merah's address on Monday evening and were able to trace telephone calls.

     
  107.  
    1354:

    One of Mohammed Merah's brothers went to a shop on Thursday last week and asked advice on how to repaint a scooter.

     
  108.  
    1354:

    Mohammed Merah's brother is still being questioned and held in custody.

     
  109.  
    1355:

    Francois Molins reiterates that they did everything they could to capture Merah alive.

     
  110.  
    1356:

    Merah used different weapons, there was a ferocious fire fight, Mr Molins says.

     
  111.  
    1358:

    Francois Molins concludes by saying he cannot give all the details today as the investigation continues.

     
  112.  
    1358:

    A Toulouse prosecutor is speaking now.

     
  113.  
    1359:

    Michel Valet says he is relieved that this affair has ended. Investigators from all the services are "united" with "full commitment" to see that best results are achieved, he says.

     
  114.  
    1401:

    Five members of the elite French police squad who handled the operation have been injured, Francois Molins said.

     
  115.  
    1403:

    The police were told to only shoot in self-defence.

     
  116.  
    1404:

    The prosecutors' press conference has now finished. More lines as we get them.

     
  117.  
    1407:

    Mohammed Merah told negotiators that he used money from robberies to buy weapons, Le Monde reports.

     
  118.  
    1409:

    A post mortem will take place on Mohammed Merah's body in Bordeaux this afternoon, the prosecutor said.

     
  119.  
    1411:

    More details from the prosecutor, via Le Monde: Merah was wearing a bullet proof vest under a djellaba; he had Molotov cocktails and a container of ammunition available.

     
  120.  
    1415:

    Mr Molins said Mohammed Merah started to radicalise while in prison, according to Le Monde. There he started to "engage in a more assiduous reading of the Koran".

     
  121.  
    1418:

    Mohammed Merah said "you kill my brothers, I kill you" while committing his first murder, that of 30-year-old soldier Imad Ibn Ziaten, Mr Molins said.

     
  122.  
    Amanda in San Francisco, USA

    writes: I am glad that the terror is over. I have friends in Toulouse and they are safe. I am deeply saddened by the events that hurt many over there and my thoughts and prayers are with the families of this horrific event.

     
  123.  
    1428:

    Al-Qaeda expert Mathieu Guidere tells Le Figaro that in his opinion Mohammed Merah's background mixes "classical" elements of the jihadi (visits to Afghanistan and Pakistan, wanting to take part in al-Qaeda training camps) with newer aspects. Mr Guidere says he also fits into the "new terrorist" profile of a "lone wolf": originating from the country attacked, becoming radicalised in their own neighbourhoods, acting alone.

     
  124.  
    1450:

    AFP reports that an organisation linked to al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the Toulouse killings.

     
  125.  
    1500:

    More from AFP: A group called Jund al-Khilafah which has previously claimed responsibility for attacks in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan, says it carried out the shootings in France - according to the US monitoring group Site.

     
  126.  
    1505:
    Prosecutor Francois Molins speaking at press conference in Toulouse Francois Molins - France's chief anti-terrorism prosecutor - gave details of events at a press conference in Toulouse this afternoon.
     
  127.  
    1512:

    More details are emerging of the grisly videos which police have found, which show all the killings. In an "extremely violent" scene, the gunman shoots the paratroopers in Montauban, shouting "Allah Akbar" as he does so. The shootings at the Jewish school on Monday were also filmed. The prosecutor Francois Molins said Mohammed Merah claimed to have posted the videos online - but investigators don't know where, how or when.

     
  128.  
    1515:

    The French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has issued his own statement following the Toulouse killings. He paid tribute to the police involved in the "very effective" operations in Toulouse and Montauban. He also saluted the professionalism of the "courageous intervention of RAID [special police force] which was always proportionate to the situation demanded by the behaviour of the assassin".

     
  129.  
    1521: Hugh Schofield BBC News, Paris

    says:

    Nicolas Sarkozy has acted in a presidential way throughout all this. His statement that the murdered Jewish children were "children of us all," and his visible support for the Muslim family members of one of the soldier victims at his funeral notably hit the right note.

    The president has done himself a a lot of good - but whether this lasts until the election which is four weeks away is another matter.

     
  130.  
    1539:
    Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu after paying condolence visit to Sandler family in Jerusalem The Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu paid a condolence visit to the Sandler family in Jerusalem this morning.

    Mr Netanyahu visited the Beit Halevy religious college in Jerusalem, where the Sandler family are sitting shiva. Three members of the Sandler family - father Jonathan and young sons Gabriel and Arieh - were shot dead in Toulouse.

    He later visited the family of 7-year-old Myriam Monsenego, the fourth victim at the Jewish school in Toulouse.

     
  131.  
    1550:

    Green presidential candidate Eva Joly has criticised the behaviour of French Interior Minister Claude Gueant during the stand-off. "What was he doing at the site all the time providing hour-by-hour commentary?" she asked.

     
  132.  
    1610: Frank Gardner BBC security correspondent

    says:

    This was definitely an intelligence failure - Mohammed Merah should have been under 24-hour surveillance and he wasn't. However, the authorities don't have the resources to follow everyone who visits Afghanistan and Pakistan.

     
  133.  
    1618:
    Coffin of Mohammed Legouade Comrades of paratrooper Mohammed Legouade pay their respects during his funeral

    Away from the drama in Toulouse, the funeral of Mohammed Legouade, one of the two paratroopers shot dead in Montauban on 15 March, has been taking place at the Great Mosque in Lyon.

    Relatives of Mohammed Legouade at his funeral

    Private Legouade, who served with the 17th Airborne Combat Engineering Regiment, was killed at a cash machine near his barracks.

     
  134.  
    1629: Writer and anti-fundamentalism activist Ed Husain

    writing in the Jewish Chronicle, says: In these testing times, it is vital that Jews and Muslims demonstrate togetherness against the common enemy. [Palestinian President] Mahmoud Abbas, for all his faults, was swift to demand that terrorists stop using the Palestinian cause to justify their evil.

     
  135.  
    1644:

    The French prosecutor, Francois Molins, says Mohammed Merah was introduced to radical ideas when he was in jail. "It was during his stay in prison that he started to engage in a more assiduous reading of the Koran."

     
  136.  
    1657:

    Mohammed Merah was a "professional terrorist", according to Roland Jacquard, from the International Terrorism Observatory. Quoted by the Reuters news agency he says "this is someone who had contacts abroad, who had experience handling pistols and kalashnikovs." Mr Jacquard adds that Merah knew to protect himself from shots and explosions by hiding in a bathtub - showing himself to be an "atypical youth".

     
  137.  
    1713:

    The French foreign minister Alain Juppe has praised the police's handling of the incident. "Our police force was especially efficient," he said, "we gave this murderer all the opportunities possible to let him surrender himself and then to be brought to justice. He didn't want to take advantage of this opportunity."

     
  138.  
    Apartment window

    This is the exterior of Merah's apartment. He's thought to have jumped out of the window on the right of the image.

     
  139.  
    Special Forces officer shakes hands with a paratrooper

    A member of France's RAID special police unit is congratulated by a paratrooper on his return to barracks following the assault.

     
  140.  
    1737:

    The AFP news agency is quoting President Sarkozy as saying Merah was "a monster".

     

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