Live Coverage: Police stand-off with Toulouse shootings suspect goes into second day
Live updates from the events in Toulouse: Police officially confirm death of 24-year-old Mohamed Merah, the Toulouse shootings suspect; Sarkozy: Reassembly and unity must be France's top national priority.
14:26 French President Sarkozy addresses nation, says Muslim citizens have nothing to do with the 'crazy' actions of the killer; says all people who consult hate or terrorism websites will be punished; declares 'reassembly and unity' as top national priority (France 24)
14:13 Marie Le Pen calls on French Muslims to fight against fundamentalism (France 24)
13:47 French President Nicolas Sarkozy set to make statement (BBC)
13:01 French Interior Minister Gueant confirms death of suspect. Gueant tells reporters the decision to arrest the suspect was taken on Thursday morning. Stun grenades were thrown into apartment at 10.30 am, and there was no response. Police then entered the apartment, and introduced video cameras to inspect each room in the apartment. They could not detect any sign of the man. When the camera was introduced into the bathroom, Merah came out with submachine gun. A gunfight between police and the suspect ensued. The suspect jumped out of window shooting a gun and was found dead on the ground (France 24)
12:48 Police confirm death of Toulouse shootings suspect after 32 hours. When police broke into the apartment the suspect was still alive and armed. He opened fire and wounded the three policeman. Merah was shot and killed. (Anshel Pfeffer)
12:41 Reports that three policemen wounded in raid, one seriously (France 24)
12:40 Police sources say suspect Merah is dead after putting up resistance (France 24)
12:38 Police sources say suspect is dead, no official confirmation (France 24)
12:35 Police sources say Merah "is resisting police" (AFP)
12:28 Heavy exchange of gunfire for last minute or so. Local newspaper La Depech and French TV channel BFMTV are reporting that the suspect is dead, but this still has not been confirmed by an official source (France 24)
12:22 Siege of Toulouse shootings suspect 'appears to be in final moments' (France 24)
12:17 Police source says police inside apartment (France 24)
11:58 Le Monde reports French police have entered Toulouse shootings suspect's home (Haaretz)
11:52 Explosions may also be to neutralize the suspect (France 24)
11:50 Police trade union source believes three blasts heard minutes ago were from "flash grenades fired to check for signs of life in the ground floor flat" (Reuters)
11:40 Police positioning vans to block line of sight of the media near the site of the siege (France 24)
11:36 Three large explosions heard outside Merah's apartment building (Reuters)
11:12 Reports that an ambulance has been brought closer to the building of the suspect and a stretcher is being taken toward Merah's building (France 24)
11:12 Netanyahu tells familes of Toulouse shooting victims that "France killers, every centimeter upon which Jews tread is 'occupied'" (Haaretz)
10: 50 Suspicions that the suspect is no longer alive are increasing. Last contact police made with Merah was at 22.30 on Wednesday night, and since the security forces in the area have not heard anything from him, and he did not respond to explosions outside his apartment building overnight Wednesday. At some stage, shots were heard from the house (Anshel Pfeffer)
10:23 French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe says "clarity" needed over shortcomings in the surveillance of Mohammed Merah by the French security services, who had questioned him only recently (AFP)
10: 20 Over the past few hours, there has been no contact between police and Merah. The police are still not breaking into the house. Some of the explosions heard last night damaged the wall of the apartment building. Interior Minister told French media Thursday morning that despite the suspect saying he was willing to surrender on Wednesday, now it looks like the suspect would rather die and not turn himself in (Anshel Pfeffer)
TOULOUSE - French police tried to flush out a 24-year-old gunman suspected of killing seven people in the name of al Qaeda, with explosions and gunfire heard outside his apartment on the second day of a siege in the southern French city of Toulouse.
As the siege continued, French Interior Minister Claude Gueant told French media on Wednesday that he was not sure if the suspect, Mohamed Merah, was still alive.
In a drama gripping France five weeks before a presidential election, some 300 police have laid siege since Wednesday to the five-storey house in a suburb of the prosperous industrial town in a bid to capture the shooter.
The French citizen of Algerian origin told negotiators he had killed three soldiers last week and four people at a Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday to avenge the deaths of Palestinian children and because of French army involvement in Afghanistan.
France's elite RAID commando unit detonated three explosions just before midnight on Wednesday, flattening the main door of the building and blowing a hole in the wall, after it became clear Merah did not mean to keep a promise to turn himself in.
Another explosion and several gunshots were heard in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Those slain at the Jewish school, all of French-Israeli nationality, were buried in Israel on Wednesday as relatives sobbed inconsolably. The bodies of Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his sons Arieh, 5, and Gabriel, 3, and 8-year-old Myriam Monsenego had been flown there earlier in the day.
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