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Man claiming al Qaeda link takes hostages in France

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Man claiming al Qaeda link takes hostages in France

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A man claiming to be a member of al Qaeda has taken four hostages in a bank in the southwestern French city of Toulouse.

According to police the assailant seized the victims in a branch of the French bank CIC and fired a shot after an attempted armed robbery apparently went wrong.

An anti-terrorist unit is now said to have sealed off the area which is the same neighbourhood from where a young al Qaeda-inspired gunman killed seven people including three soldiers and three children back in March.

23-year-old Mohammed Merah was later shot dead by police after a siege.