Man claiming al Qaeda link takes hostages in France
A man claiming to be a member of al Qaeda has taken four hostages in a bank in the southwestern French city of Toulouse, including the bank manager, police officials said on today.world Updated: Jun 20, 2012 16:21 IST
A man claiming to be a member of al Qaeda has taken four hostages in a bank in the southwestern French city of Toulouse, including the bank manager, police officials said on Wednesday.
The man took several hostages in a branch of French bank CIC and fired a shot after an attempted armed robbery apparently went wrong, UNSA police union official Cedric Delage told Reuters. Another police source said there were four hostages.
An anti-terrorist police unit was on its way to the scene and the area was sealed off, Delage said. He could not confirm the man's claim to be a member of the al Qaeda militant group.
In March, a young al Qaeda-inspired gunman who travelled by scooter shot dead three soldiers, a rabbi and three Jewish children in Toulouse.
The man, 23-year-old Mohammed Merah, was later shot dead by police after a standoff at his home in the city, in the same area as the CIC bank that was under siege on Wednesday.
The Interior Ministry was not immediately available to comment.
First Published: Jun 20, 2012 16:18 IST