UPDATED: Standoff In Toulouse Ends, Hostages Freed, Man Claiming Al Qaeda Links Shot
OUEST FRANCE, LE PARISIEN, EUROPE 1 (France)
TOULOUSE - This southwestern French city was the scene of a new standoff on Wednesday, with a man claiming to belong to Al Qaeda taking four hostages in a bank. Last March Mohammed Merah, killed three French soldiers and three children and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse and was killed after a long standoff with the French elite RAID police force.
According to Europe 1, the standoff came to an end late Wednesday afternoon after police forces raided the bank. The French radio station is reporting that the man, thought to be named Boumaza, is a schizophrenic who had gone off his medication. His sister was on site to help the police with their negotiations.
All four hostages were released unharmed, but Boumaza was shot in the stomach during the raid, reports Le Parisien. Two of the four hostages had been released by the suspect in the mid-afternoon. Sources are indicating that this was a hold-up gone wrong.
Earlier in the day, a police representative told Ouest France: "We don't know if the Al Qaeda claim is serious or unreliable."