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29 - 03 - 2012 23:00 GMT
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Socialist rival for the presidency Francois Hollande were due to attend a memorial ceremony for the slain soldiers in Montauban later Wednesday.

Commentaire de la part de greenbird  
The shocking events blur the question that will soon emerge: what impact will this have on the election process - swing to the right?

Commentaire de la part de Jason Paris  
Great achievement by the French Police? Mon Dieu. Please someone remind me how many innocent people are dead.
Reports saying neighbours in building under siege in Toulouse are being taken out of their apartments by way of fire ladders.

Commentaire de la part de Guest  
I hope one man's madness does not create further tensions between different cultures and religions in Toulouse. An Australian living in Toulouse

Commentaire de la part de Aussie Guest  
They better get him alive. The victims deserve justice!

Commentaire de la part de Alan from Jakarta  
Great achievement by the French Police? A GREAT achievement would have been to have stopped this madman in the first place.
Interior Minister Claude Gueant says French intelligence tracked shooting suspect for years

Commentaire de la part de Guest  
Great achievement by the French Police! Very sad my thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones
Israel begins burying victims of French shooting. For full AFP news wire click here.

Commentaire de la part de Jerusalem  
crying here
French Interior Minister Claude Gueant says shootings suspect has stopped speaking to police negotiator.
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Muslim and French leaders urged French people not to confuse Islam with the killing of French soldiers in Montauban and Jewish school children in Toulouse. After a meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy, Richard Prasquier, head of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France said it was wrong to group together Jihadist Islam and Islam as it is practiced in France. He was flanked by Mohammed Moussaoui, President of the French Muslim Council.
Correction: the statement was made by Mohammed Moussaoui, President of the French Muslim Council

Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of Paris Grand Mosque has told press that “shooter's acts contradict Islam”.

Commentaire de la part de robbo  
Good luck in Toulouse, hope it ends without further bloodshed
Speaking to FRANCE 24, correspondent Phoebe Greenwood in Jerusalem said the former chief rabbi of southern city of Nice, and who now lived in Israel, had this message for French Jews: “Your place is now in Israel”

Commentaire de la part de Vika  
"Home grown terorrism" hit Britain with 7/7 bombings. Will be interesting to see how France reacts as a country to its own home grown terrorist. Will the spiltsin society grow wider?
A recap of events:

- Around 300 police officers, including some from elite units, have surrounded the home of the main suspect of the deadly shootings in Montauban and Toulouse, which claimed the lives of three soldiers, three Jewish school children and a Rabbi. The siege, which started at 3am on Wednesday, is unfolding in a residential neighbourhood in the southern city of Toulouse.

-Claunde Gueant said the trapped suspect said his actions were in response to a French law banning the wearing of the full Muslim veil in public and France’s military involvement in Afghanistan. He said he was acting in coordination with the al Qaeda network.

-AFP has reported that the man’s name was Mohammed Merah. He is a 24-year-old French national of Algerian background. Police have told reporters that the suspect said he would give himself up this afternoon.

Commentaire de la part de Guest  
I was on the waiting end of a few sieges in Iraq and it CAN be tedious work and long periods of nothing. But when it goes hot, things happen very, very fast!
More from Bockman in Toulouse:
"There was a detonator set off by police about 45 minutes ago. [Suspect] is on ground floor. Neighbours who live above him are frightened but can't evacuate."

"Allegations that the suspect had dropped a gun out of his window are unconfirmed. Earlier three police left the scene in ambulances after gunshots."
Correspondent Christopher Bockman reporting on the scene of siege tells FRANCE 24 that suspect has told police he is ready to give himself up but only after lunch.

“The situation is not tense at the moment. It’s a wait-and-see game.”
Father of a 22yo accountant living in the 4-storey block of flats said his son was still inside and police were guarding the stairwell [via Twitter]

Commentaire de la part de Chuck D  
We have to question motives here, it's the elementary step to working out what this is all about. Without motives we're looking for a needle in a haystack, stabbing in the dark as it were.
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Commentaire de la part de intelcurio  
Following from Canada
More on the suspect’s previous arrest in Afghanistan: AFP reporting that the man was arrested on a matter of common law in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.
Police spokesman tells me suspect took scooter to garage. And garage then called police. [via Twitter]
Nobody has been taken to an ambulance. All quiet again in this siege. If gunman intends to give up as Interior Minister says, why not now? [via Twitter]
@ Paul in Jerusalem: A funeral service is scheduled today at 3pm at the Montauban Cathedral for Abel Chennouf, one of the three paratroopers killed by a shooter last Thursday. Chennouf was a practicing Roman Catholic.

Commentaire de la part de Paul in Jerusalem  
Do you have any information on the funerals or the two French soldiers? I heard that they are also being buried today.
Jean-Claude Souléry, editor in chief of local Toulouse newspaper la Dépêche du Midi says: "A great sense of relief dominates in Toulouse today, as everyone finds out that the alleged offender [of school shootings] is currently surrounded by police."
Image of funerals underway in Israel for the four victims of the shooting in Toulouse on Monday.

Commentaire de la part de Finland  
Of course they want him alive, otherwise the blame of his actions will set to a larger sight than this one person.

The suspect's name is Mohammed Merah, the AFP news agency is reporting, citing a source close to the investigation. He is a French national of Algerian background, AFP said.

Commentaire de la part de Guest  
Shooter "intends to surrender this afternoon". Wow. Surely he doesn't think the police will all go have a coffee and come back when he's ready to surrender.
Interior Minister Claude Gueant says police want to take the suspect alive.

Commentaire de la part de JVG  
Following from Spain
man called France 24 newsroom saying he’s behind Toulouse Montauban attacks, told us videos of all killings will be online @ebbaf24 #grim [via Twitter]

Commentaire de la part de Guest  
Following from Finland
France Info radio quoting a neighbour who says that the gas into the building has been cut.

Commentaire de la part de Aussie Guest  
Following from Australia
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President Nicolas Sarkozy is scheduled to meet with different religious leaders at 10am. He will make a statement to the press after that meeting.
Multiple reports now saying that two or three gun shots were heard at the sight of the raid around 9am.
The AFP news agency is reporting that the funeral for French attack victims at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse has started in Jerusalem.

Earlier the bodies of 30-year-old Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his sons Arieh, 5, and Gabriel, 4, and seven-year-old Miriam Monsonego arrived at Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv. Click here for that story.
#Toulouse suspect has thrown a weapon from the window and intends to surrender this afternoon: French Interior Minister. @France24_en [via Twitter]

Commentaire de la part de Robin  
I hope they are smart enough to disconnect the internet to the building. I can imagine he is making an online statement and uploading the video's.
Reports saying that Interior Minister Claude Gueant has said that the suspect plans to surrender this afternoon.
Testimony from one of the shooting suspect’s neighbours aired on  
France Info radio: “They need to get us out of here. 
No one has come to help us, no one has called us. 
We don’t know what is going on. We hear gunfire, 
and people talking to [the suspect]. 
He does not want to give up but someone needs to get us out of here!”
Shots just heard Toulouse siege [via Twitter]

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