× Digital News Videos Health & Science Opinion Education Columnists Lifestyle Cartoons Moi Cabinets Kibaki Cabinets Arts & Culture Gender Podcasts E-Paper Tributes Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS

'Hostages held' in France bank

By BBC | January 1st 1970


Four people have been taken hostage in a bank in the southern French city of Toulouse by a man claiming to be linked to al-Qaeda, police say.

The man fired a shot and demanded to speak to the elite police unit that shot Islamist gunman Mohamed Merah.

Merah, who claimed al-Qaeda training, killed seven people in Toulouse before he was shot dead by police in March.

However, police official Cedric Delage said the man took hostages after an attempted armed robbery went wrong.

The area around the bank has been cordoned off and a nearby school has been closed.

"We do not know if his claim about al-Qaeda is serious or a fantasy," a police union source told the regional newspaper Ouest-France.


The BBC's Christian Fraser, in Paris, says the bank is 100 metres (330ft) from Merah's flat, in an area adjacent to the barracks where the elite Raid police unit was based during the siege of Merah's flat.

No Raid officers are at the scene yet, our correspondent says.

A police official told the Associated Press no injuries had been reported so far.

Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman of Algerian descent, killed seven people in three separate attacks. His victims included three children and a teacher at a Jewish school, and three soldiers.

He was shot dead by a police sniper on 22 March after commandos stormed his flat.

In the wake of the shootings, the French authorities set up an investigation into whether Merah had accomplices and into possible Islamist indoctrination practices in prisons.

Merah filmed his attacks and sent the footage to police.

On 7 June, a man armed with a gunshot took hostage a security guard at the French weather service, Meteo France. The hostage-taker fired several shots and was seriously injured when police returned fire.




Share this story
Pope urges end to attacks on Christians in Nigeria
Pope Benedict appealed on Wednesday for an immediate end to what he called "terrorist attacks" against Christians in Nigeria and urged all sides to avoid reprisals.
Opening Ceremony: Kenya takes her pride of place as 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games begin
Team Kenya Paralympics strolled majestically into the Tokyo Olympic Stadium led by captain Rodgers Kiprop and Powerlifter Hellen Wawira for the Openin