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Thursday 26 May 2016

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Gunman to surrender 'at night'

Published 21/03/2012

Police officers surround the building in Toulouse, where the shooting suspect is holed up (AP)
Police officers surround the building in Toulouse, where the shooting suspect is holed up (AP)
A police officer works at the scene of the stand-off in Toulouse (AP)
French President Nicolas Sarkozy adresses journalists after paying his respects in front of the coffins of the Toulouse school victims (AP)

The French Interior Minister has claimed a holed-up suspect wanted for shooting seven people dead plans to turn himself in to French police surrounding him at night "to be more discreet."

Claude Gueant told France-2 TV that the suspect, Mohamed Merah, appeared to have acted alone in the killings - but also claimed to authorities that he met al Qaida "chiefs" while travelling in Pakistan last year.

As night fell in France, the stand-off moved into its 17th hour.

Three police were wounded as they tried to arrest the 24-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent during a raid around 3am.

Prosecutors have said Merah was a self-taught radical Salafi who had been to Afghanistan twice and had trained in the Pakistani militant stronghold of Waziristan.

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