The Madeleine Brand Show for March 21, 2012

French gunman suspected in a string of murders is surrounded by police

Police Surround Toulouse Shooting Suspect

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Members of the media gather at the end of a road sealed off by police during an operation to arrest 24-year-old Mohammed Merah, the man suspected of killing seven victims including three children in separate gun attacks on March 21, 2012 in Toulouse, France. Two officers were injured as police surrounded the gunman at a property during an early morning raid. The suspect's brother was arrested in another part of the city as part of the operation.

A suspect in a string of dramatic shooting incidents in France is surrounded by police in an apartment in the city of Toulouse. Police plan to storm the apartment building if the supposed gunman doesn't surrender.

The suspect has been identified as Mohammed Merah, a 24-year-old French citizen of Algerian origin. He's believed to be responsible for several fatal attacks over the last 10 days.

Last week, three French soldiers were killed in two separate incidents. Two days ago, a rabbi and three children were killed Monday when a man on a motorcycle opened fire with two handguns outside a Jewish school. Hundreds of French police descended on the suspect's hideout in Toulouse on Wednesday, but as of yet have not drawn him out, despite hours of gun-fighting and negotiations.

Merah apparently traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan in the past and was reportedly under surveillance by French authorities.

French 24's live coverage of the situation

Guest:

Eleanor Beardsley, NPR's Paris correspondent


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