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 traveled 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.