Critics slam handling of Toulouse shoot-out

Now Reading:

Critics slam handling of Toulouse shoot-out

Text size Aa Aa

After one of the longest police operations in France, some are criticising the assault that ended with the death of self-confessed killer Mohamed Merah.

Hundreds of officers surrounded the apartment building in Toulouse, and some were wounded in earlier attempts to arrest Merah.

Thirty-two hours of waiting and negotiating failed to end the siege, and police stormed the apartment.

French Prosecutor François Molins described what they were met with as they entered: “He was armed, and started firing at the police so incessantly that it seemed as if he was using a machine gun. He launched an assault, charging at police through the apartment and firing at them with a Colt .45. As he jumped from the balcony, he was hit in the head by a retaliatory shot from the RAID (elite police unit),” Molins said.

Merah admitted to having killed seven people.

However, opposition politicians are angry that the 23-year-old was not captured alive. Some, like Merah’s lawyer Christian Etelin, are saying Merah should have been given more time.

“I think there was another possibility, which was to do anything to establish a dialogue. That would have created a link that would had allowed him to have a more realistic vision of the outcome,” he said.

This latest drama may have given President Nicolas Sarkozy’s re-election campaign a boost; he has now overtaken rival Francois Hollande in the polls.