Jun 20 2012
A gunman claiming to be linked to al Qaida has taken hostages in a bank in the French city of Toulouse and fired a shot.
Toulouse was the site of series of murders, including four at a Jewish school, in March by Islamic extremist Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old who also claimed allegiance to al Qaida.
Police said no injuries had been reported so far. It was unclear how many hostages were held.
Officers cordoned off the area around the CIC bank.
French TV said that four hostages were inside the bank in the city centre - the branch director and three others - and that the gunman wanted the elite RAID police force to come and negotiate with him.
The RAID police force led a 32-hour stand-off with Merah and shot him dead during a gunfight at the end of the siege.
Merah was an Islamic radical who had trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan.