Hail of Bullets bring down French Gunman
Thursday, 22 March 2012

A 23-year-old gunman who said al Qaeda inspired him to kill seven people in France died in a hail of bullets on Thursday as he scrambled out of a ground-floor window during a gunbattle with elite police commandos.

Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman of Algerian origin, died from a gunshot wound to his head at the end of a 30-hour standoff with police at his apartment in southern France and after confessing to killing three soldiers, three Jewish children and a rabbi.

He was firing frantically at police from a Colt 45 pistol as he climbed through his apartment window onto a verandah and toppled to the ground some 5 feet below, according to prosecutors and police.

Two police commandos were injured in the operation - a dramatic climax to a siege in a suburb of the city of Toulouse which riveted Europe after the killings shook France a month before a presidential election.

"At the moment when a video probe was sent into the bathroom, the killer came out of the bathroom, firing with extreme violence," Interior Minister Claude Gueant told reporters at the scene.

"In the end, Mohamed Merah jumped from the window with his gun in his hand, continuing to fire. He was found dead on the ground."

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Merah had taken refuge in his bathroom, wearing a bullet-proof vest under his traditional black djellaba robe, as elite police blasted his flat through the night with flash grenades.

 



  

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