Toulouse siege finally over in past few minutes

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mama cass

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Aug 16, 2004
this has totally shaken France - the past few days have been shocking, horrible and just so devastating...

Toulouse shooting suspect reported dead after 30-hour siege - live updates | World news |

Here's a quick recap:

• Mohamed Merah, 24, has been pinned down since Wednesday morning in a Toulouse flat after a raid in which police captured his brother but had to pull back when three officers were shot and wounded. The scene is completely surrounded by heavily armed police from Raid, the French specialist anti-terrorist and hostage response squad.

• Explosions have been ringing out at varied intervals overnight, with the stated aim of authorities being to intimidate Merah, tire him out and convince him that there is no escape, while putting themselves and others in as little danger as possible.

• At over 24 hours it has become one of France's longest ever police sieges – comparisons have been drawn with the Neuilly hostage crisis of 1993, which went on for 46 hours.

• Merah is blamed for the shooting murders of three schoolchildren and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse, and for gunning down three soldiers in Toulouse and nearby Montauban. He has called himself an al-Qaida fighter and declared he would have killed more people given the chance.
Perhaps it's a little too soon for this, but given the upcoming elections I can't help wondering (worrying?) how this will be spun by the parties.
Perhaps it's a little too soon for this, but given the upcoming elections I can't help wondering (worrying?) how this will be spun by the parties.

oh they started on the spin instantly! it was disgusting actually!

the worst thing was Marine Le Pen of the extreme right "Front National" actually kept very silent during the attacks because it was feared that it might be a neo-nazi type perpetrator which would look bad for her party, but as soon as she found out it was a French/Algerian kid with Al-Qaeda connections, she showed her true colours and let loose with emotive vengeful inflammatory comments about "waging war on fundamentalist groups who are killing our children" kind of thing, and wanting to reopen the debate on restoring the death penalty which was only relatively recently abolished in France... it was truly cheap and sickening...

funnily enough though, Sarkozy has actually been perceived as handling the situation very well - he's been very measured in his speeches, and taken care to say he wants to promote unity between the muslim/non-muslim communities here in France (France has the largest muslim population in Europe), and also saying stuff like he will introduce a law to prosecute people who visit Al Qaeda/hate crime websites regularly etc., and will tackle the radicalisation of young people in prisons etc.

i think his popularity in the polls has increased slightly too...

the left have been saying pretty much the same thing about unity etc.

but they do also seem to be saying that it would be pretty inappropriate to suddenly capitalise on this situation to try to gain votes...

i think Sarkozy will need to ease up on the anti-immigration rhetoric he's been pushing up til now to try to win votes from the far right, because things are so sensitive right now... quite frankly though, i'm taking all this "promoting unity" talk by Sarko with a MASSIVE pinch of salt - it's all a little late in the day now for him to be making these overtures - he never bothered before, in fact, has been pretty inflammatory in the past! so yeah, the whole election thing is pretty worrying indeed... and people are pretty shaken by these events... my kids said they had a minute of silence at their schools for the victims... the whole thing was really really horrifying - i don't normally cry when i read the news but this really really got to me, the whole thing...
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