• France
    (Photo: REUTERS/Jean-Philippe Arles)
    France's Interior Minister Claude Gueant (C) makes a phone call on the scene after the assault to capture gunman Mohamed Merah during a raid on a five-storey building to arrest a suspect in the killings of three children and a rabbi on Monday at a Jewish school, in Toulouse March 22, 2012. The 23-year-old gunman suspected of killing seven people in southwestern France in the name of al Qaeda, jumped from a window to his death in a hail of bullets after police stormed his apartment on Thursday. France's Interior Minister Claude Gueant said earlier police hoped to capture Mohamed Merah, who had confessed to police negotiators to killing three soldiers as well as three Jewish children and a rabbi at a school, alive.
By Sami K. Martin, Christian Post Reporter
March 22, 2012|7:58 am

Mohamed Merah, the gunman who terrorized France and killed seven innocent victims, is dead. Reports state that after a standoff with police, and promising to turn himself in, Merah jumped from a window amid gunfire.

It was a tense standoff between French officials and Merah, who was accused of killing seven French civilians, including three children. Merah had promised to turn himself in to authorities yesterday, after they surrounded his home and arrested his girlfriend and brother in connection with Islamic terrorist groups.

However, things changed drastically when Merah decided to jump from a window in the home; police had no choice but to fire upon Merah.

"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 Reuters.

"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." Reuters is also reporting that during the standoff, three officers were wounded; one as he approached Merah's home, and two more as he fired while jumping.

Merah had said that the killings of three French soldiers, one Rabbi, and three Jewish children were retaliation for Palestinian deaths.

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"He claims to be a mujahedeen and to belong to al-Qaida," Gueant explained yesterday. "He wanted revenge for the Palestinian children and he also wanted to take revenge on the French army because of its foreign interventions."

The death comes as a relief to many in France as it was revealed by France 24 news that Merah planned to carry out similar attacks in Toulouse, Paris, Marseille and Lyon. He also told France 24 that there were only two ways he would cease killing citizens: "prison, where he could hold his head up high," or death.