French Minister Says Shooting Suspect Dead
Toulouse, March 22 (Xinhua-RHC) French Interior Minister Claude Gueant confirmed on Thursday that the suspect of an al-Qaeda-linked killing spree in southern France is dead after exchanging fire with the police. Gueant said two police officers were injured.
The 24-year-old suspect, Mohamed Merah, was hiding in the bathroom when French police stormed in at around 11:00 a.m. local time the apartment where he had been holed up for some 30 hours.
He was dead after he threw himself out of the window while still firing his weapon at the police officers.
Police had been trying to capture Merah alive. He is allegedly responsible for the death of three French paratroopers of ethnic minority and four Jewish people, including three children, in the past weeks.
Merah had initially offered to give himself up to the police, but said later that he would "die with weapons in hand."