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Man claiming al Qaeda link takes hostages in France

A man claiming to be an al Qaeda member has taken four hostages in a bank in Toulouse.

Written by Agencies | Toulouse,france | Published: June 20, 2012 4:21:49 pm

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.

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