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.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora