Police arrest Toulouse hostage taker | News | DW | 20.06.2012
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Police arrest Toulouse hostage taker

An armed man who took four people hostage in a bank in the French city of Toulouse has been arrested by French police. The individual claimed to have links to al Qaeda.

A gunman, who kept four people hostage in a bank in the southern French city of Toulouse for several hours, was seized by police on Wednesday after they launched an assault to end the stand-off, according to police sources. The arrest is believed to have resulted in the armed man being injured.

Watch video 01:11

Hostage crisis in Toulouse comes to an end

The man's capture came shortly after he freed a second female hostage in exchange for food and water. A first hostage had been freed an hour earlier, according to French television station BFM.

BFM said the man claimed to be a member of al Qaeda, although police have yet to comment on the man's potential links to the terrorist network.

The gunman reportedly requested for the elite RAID police force to partake in negotiations. The RAID led a 32-hour standoff with Frenchman Mohamed Merah in the same city earlier in the year.

Merah, who also claimed to be affiliated with al Qaeda, killed three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers in a series of incidents in and around Toulouse that left the whole of France in shock. The 23-year-old's killing spree culminated with the standoff outside his flat, during which he was eventually shot dead by police.

sej/msh (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)

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