Toulouse siege still ongoing (10)

UPDATE: Several gunshots and an explosion were heard at the building where the suspect in seven shootings in southwest France is holed up, a Reuters witness said early on Thursday.

Three blasts at the building were the suspect in seven shootings in southwest France is holed up were intended to intimidate him and there has not been an assault to get him out of his apartment, the interior ministry said on Thursday.

“They were moves to intimidate the gunman who seems to have changed his mind and does not want to surrender,” ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told Reuters. “There is no assault.”

A police source and a deputy Toulouse mayor had said earlier that an assault had started after three loud blasts had been heard at the building following a more than 20-hour standoff.

Police had been trying to get 24-year-old Mohamed Merah to turn himself over after he fired through the door at them while they tried to storm his apartment in the suburbs of Toulouse in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

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See Also:

Toulouse siege: live

7:03 am – French terror suspect killed during police raid, according to report

Afternoon Updates:

12:31 pm EDT, March 22nd, 2012 — French shooting suspect dies in siege, Sarkozy vows crackdown

12:32 pm EDT, March 22nd, 2012 — French intelligence slammed for failure to stop al-Qaeda killer Mohamed Merah

12:33 pm EDT, March 22nd, 2012 — Toulouse Fallout ‘Plays Into Sarkozy’s Hands’

12:35 pm EDT, March 22nd, 2012 — More and More French Jews Emigrating to Israel

12:40 pm EDT, March 22nd, 2012 — Five years jail for Qaeda Internet recruiter: German court

12:46 pm EDT, March 22nd, 2012 — Indonesian embassy not target of blast, security sources say

1:54 pm EDT, March 22nd, 2012 – Poll shows many Canadians do not trust Muslims

1:55 pm EDT, March 22nd, 2012 — The Jihad in France

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