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Accusations fly over Toulouse gunman siege

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Accusations fly over Toulouse gunman siege


Former police chiefs and politicians traded accusations on Friday over the handling of the Toulouse siege.

Self-confessed killer Mohamed Merah spent 32 hours holed up in his flat before the final battle between him and the elite police force.

Merah is said to have been waiting for the police assault in the bathroom, and was shot in the head as he tried to jump out of a window.

Now authorities are focusing on finding out if anyone else was involved in Merah’s killing spree.

His brother and brother’s girlfriend are being held
at a detention centre in Paris and may face legal proceedings. Another 27-year-old has been arrested.

Christian Prouteau is the retired chief of the elite commando unit of the Gendarmerie Nationale, known as GIGN. He has accused the police who carried out the operation of bungling it. The special tactical operations unit RAID were the ones who stormed the apartment.

“They should have used tear gas on him. He wouldn’t have lasted five minutes,” said Prouteau.

RAID failed to drive Merah out with stun grenades, and many are complaining that the 23-year-old was not captured alive.

RAID’s commander, Amaury de Hautecloque, has defended the team’s actions on French television.

“With the conditions we faced, we did our best and conducted the mission in the most reasonable and feasible way possible,” said Hautecloque.

Seven people lost their lives in Merah’s nine days of violence, in attacks where he singled out military personnel and Jews.

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