'Al-Qaeda' man takes hostages in France

Last Updated: Wed, Jun 20, 2012 13:24 hrs

Toulouse, France, June 20 (IBNS): A man, who claimed himself to be a member of banned terrorist outfit al Qaeda, has taken at least four people as hostages at a bank in French city Toulouse, police said on Wednesday.

The man has taken the bank´s manager and three other people as hostages, a police official said.

According to the police, he fired a shot after the authorities did not pay him money as was demanded by him.

He has even demanded to negotiate with the RAID police unit.

Two schools located near the bank have been closed down after the incident.

The police have cordoned off the area around the bank.

However, no casualties have been reported so far.

Pertinently, the RAID police unit in March shot dead a suspected Islamic extremist Mohamed Merah in Toulouse, who had killed seven people in France.

23-year-old Mohamed Merah had confessed to the police that he had killed seven people in southwestern France and claimed of having links with radical Islamist group al-Qaeda.

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