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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DEVELOPING STORY: Man reportedly claiming to be al Qaeda takes hostages in Toulouse, France

TOULOUSE, France - A French police official says a man has taken hostages in a bank in the southern city of Toulouse and fired a shot.

A police union official told the Reuters news network that the man claims to be linked to al Qaeda.

The official says no injuries have been reported so far. It is unclear how many hostages are held, but reports suggested as many as four people, possibly including the bank manager, were inside.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.

The neighborhood around the CIC bank is cordoned off. Toulouse was the site of a rampage against a Jewish school in March that left four dead. Police say the shooter was Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old who claimed allegiance to al Qaeda.
Footage of Siege 2 Months Ago:

The bank branch where the hostage taker was holed up is very close to the apartment block where Merah eventually fell to his death from a balcony following a police raid by an elite squad known as the French National Police Intervention Group (GIPN).
French media reported Wednesday that the bank hostage taker had asked for the GIPN to respond to the scene.

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