An armed siege at a bank in France is over after police launched an assault, freeing two hostages and injuring a gunman. He had earlier claimed to be a member of al Qaeda.
The incident began shortly after midday when the assailant fired a shot inside a branch of CIC bank in the southwestern city of Toulouse. Detectives say he held four people hostage after an attempted robbery went wrong.
He subsequently released two of them during negotiations with police. All four victims were said to be unharmed.
The drama took place in the same area in which a young al Qaeda-inspired gunman killed seven people in March. Mohammed Merah, 23, was later shot dead in a police siege at his apartment.