Suspect in French School Shooting Plans Nighttime Surrender

Mohamed Merah, a suspect in the shooting at a Jewish school that left four dead and in two separate attacks on French paratroopers, exchanged gunfire with police when they attempted to raid his apartment. Police have cordoned off the area and negotiations are ongoing.

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TOULOUSE, France — The suspect in the murders of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school that took place Monday plans to turn himself in to French police tonight “to be more discreet,” according to Interior Minister Claude Gueant. The man is also a suspect in two other attacks on paratroopers in southern France.

Mohamed Merah, 24, is a self-taught radical Salafi who had been to Afghanistan twice and had trained in Waziristan, a Pakistani militant stronghold, the Associated Press reports. Merah exchanged gunfire with police Wednesday as officers attempted to raid his apartment. Three police were wounded.

Merah told police he belongs to al-Qaida and was trying to take revenge for Palestinian children killed in the Middle East, as well as French military intervention abroad.

On Monday, Merah allegedly opened fire in front of Ozar Hatorah junior high school and high school from a motorcycle. A 30-year-old rabbi who worked at the school, his two young sons and another child were killed in the attack. A 17-year-old boy was in critical condition.

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