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Toulouse Terrorist is Dead

The terrorist who murdered seven people, including a rabbi and three young children, is dead after a 30-hour siege in Toulouse.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 3/22/2012, 12:50 PM

Masked special unit French police on the scene in Toulouse
Masked special unit French police on the scene in Toulouse
Reuters

The terrorist who murdered seven people, including a rabbi and three young children, is dead after a 30-hour siege in Toulouse.

French police raided the apartment in which 23-year-old Mohammed Merah was holed up after he failed to fulfill two promises to surrender Wednesday.

Officers first flooded the apartment with gas in an effort to paralyze the terrorist. However, they were met with a hail of bullets when they attempted to enter the apartment -- gunfire that lasted several minutes.

Merah reportedly died when he was shot in the head as he leapt from his window trying to escape the oncoming police.

Three police officers were wounded as they stormed the apartment, according to the AFP news agency, including one “fairly seriously.”

At least 10 to 12 gunshots were heard, followed by a second burst of gunfire, according to a BBC reporter. A resident at the scene said Merah died with his gun “still in his hand,” according to the BBC.

French police said from the beginning they preferred to capture Merah alive. However, there were fears the terrorist had booby-trapped the apartment. He was armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, an Uzi submachine gun and a number of hand grenades, in addition to several hand guns.

Merah, trapped in the apartment, had confessed to murdering a rabbi and three Jewish children in an attack Monday at the Otzar HaTorah Jewish day school in Toulouse, as well as three French Muslim paratroopers last week. He bragged to media and police that he had “brought France to its knees” and expressed no remorse, other than the regret that he had not had time to kill more.