News

    Shooting Suspect Expresses Desire to Die

    A TV grab released by French TV France 2 shows an image of 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent Mohammed Merah, March 22, 2012.
    A TV grab released by French TV France 2 shows an image of 23-year-old Frenchman of Algerian descent Mohammed Merah, March 22, 2012.

    A standoff is continuing in Toulouse, France, where police have been trying to force the suspect in the shooting deaths of seven people to surrender.

    French Interior Minister Claude Gueant says it is unclear if 24-year-old Mohammed Merah was still alive, since police had no contact with him during the night.

    Gueant said the suspect, who claims ties to al-Qaida, has expressed a desire to die with "weapons in hand."

    Media reports say several loud explosions have been heard near the building where Merah has been holed up since early Wednesday.  

    The Frenchman of Algerian origin is accused of murdering a rabbi and three children - ages four, five and seven - at the Jewish school in Toulouse Monday before driving off on a motorcycle. French police say the alleged shooter used the same gun to kill three French soldiers of African and French Caribbean origin last week in Toulouse and a nearby town.

    Two police officers have been wounded in earlier attempts to storm the Toulouse house where the suspect is holed up.  Officials say Merah initially told authorities he would surrender Wednesday evening.

    Interior Minister Gueant says police are determined to take him alive.

    Gueant says the suspect was angry about French military intervention abroad, and said he wanted to avenge Palestinian children killed in the Middle East. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad denounced the killings, saying it is time for criminals to stop using the Palestinians to justify their cause.

    Police say they received a tip from a Yamaha dealer in Toulouse who said he remembered that a young man had asked to have an antitheft device removed from a motorbike.  Authorities say it was the same kind used in the recent murders.

    U.S. President Barack Obama called French President Nicolas Sarkozy while aboard Air Force One en route to Nevada.  A White House statement says President Obama expressed his solidarity with President Sarkozy and the government and people of France.  The statement said President Obama underscored that the American people stand shoulder to shoulder with "our French allies and friends in this trying time."

    During a funeral for two of the paratroopers in Montauban, north of Toulouse, President Sarkozy said the slain soldiers were victims of "terrorist executions."  He added that the suspected gunman will fail in his attempt to divide the country.

    Far right political leader Marine Le Pen lashed out against "Islamic fundamentalism" in an interview on Israeli radio Wednesday.  

    The bodies of the rabbi and three children were buried Wednesday in Israel.  


    Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Godwin
    March 22, 2012 8:24 AM
    The Palestinian PM told Merah and those who would carry out their innate vendetta against others in the name of Palestine, "It is time for those criminals to stop exploiting the name of Palestine through their terrorist actions". One person who is surely happy with Merah and his ideals is Ahmadinejad of Iran. He's not an Arab even though he has Jewish blood in him, but celebrates Jerusalem Day just to keep inciting trouble in the region. PA pM says, SHUT UP!

    by: asitis
    March 22, 2012 2:33 AM
    More INNOCENT victims of " mohammad's "[ PART PLEDGERIZED ] MISGUIDED , CRAZED & ENFORCED EVIL koranic islamic BRAINWASHED CULTURAL/ POLITICAL LEGACY ie. MYSOGONYSTIC, LOW SELF ESTEEM ORGANIZATION ...

    by: Donna Morales
    March 21, 2012 7:11 PM
    .KILL HIM IN THE PRESENCE OF THE WHOLE WORLD. DRAG HIM THROUGH THE STREETS.

    by: Eagle Kiss 1
    March 21, 2012 6:36 PM
    "Merah told the police he had planned more killings and that he would "bring France to its knees."...to avenge Palestinian children killed in the Middle East.... France should apply Shariah Law and do the same: "Bring Islam to its kneees" and kill more Islamic terrorists. This would be cool.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.