Minister: French gunman dead after jumping from window

By REUTERS
March 22, 2012 13:27

TOULOUSE, France - An al-Qaida-inspired gunman who killed seven people in France died on Thursday after jumping out of a window of his apartment, where he had been holed up for some 30 hours in a standoff with police, Interior Minister Claude Gueant said.

Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian origin, had been silent for hours but opened fire on special forces who stormed the building and was killed in the ensuing gun battle.

"At the moment when a video probe was sent into the bathroom, the killer came out of the bathroom, firing with extreme violence," Gueant told reporters at the scene, adding that Merah was firing several guns at once.

"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," he said.

Two police commandos were injured in the operation.

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