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Saturday 20 September 2014

Timeline: How trail led police to jihadist on their doorstep

Published 22/03/2012 | 07:30

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11 March A French soldier, is shot dead near the Toulouse airport.



15 March Two more soldiers, including Abel Chennouf, are killed in Moutauban, 30kms north of Toulouse.



19 March A teacher and three children, are killed at Jewish school in Toulouse.



Yesterday, 3am (French time) About 300 police sweep through central Toulouse, about a mile and half from the school. Shots are exchanged between officers and a man believed to be Mohamed Merah.



8am Merah throws a Colt 45 pistol from his window. It is believed to be one of those used in the killings.



8:18am France's Interior Minister, Claude Guéant says Merah will turn himself in during afternoon.



10:16am Mr Guéant says that the suspect "was followed for several years" by France's secret service.



1:22pm Officials cut off gas and electricity to apartment where Merah is holed up.



3:20pm Le Figaro reports that Merah was preparing to kill an identified soldier hours after police surrounded flat.



4:45pm Police say they have made "several attempts" to enter the flat, but have been repelled by gunfire.



7:40pm Street lights are switched off in the besieged neighbourhood in what is seen as preparation for an assault.



10:30pm Three explosions are heard from the apartment. Officials later say they "were moves to intimidate the gunman".



11:50pm Calm returns to he neighbourhood. Sources suggest negotiations between the suspect and the police have resumed.



1 am AFP describes two gunshot like sounds as "two new blasts and brief bursts of gunfire"..







2 am It has been 24 hours now since the operation started, and it has started to rain.







3.10 am Another two short blasts have been detonated on the scene, according to Le Monde journalist. He says the police are doing everything they can to ensure the suspect is unable to relax.







4 am The blasts are becoming pretty regular now, with several explosions every 45 minutes of so. Still no word on what the gunman is doing.







5.45 am Explosions continue to be heard around the building. The blasts have so far blown a hole in a wall and flattened the door of the main building.





05.50 am A spokesman for the interior ministry, has confirmed the explosions are designed to intimidate the gunman into surrendering.



08.00 am Interior Minister Claude Guéant is in a command post just 50 metres from the besieged building holding discussions with police and RAID chiefs .

09.07 am Sky News reports that a stretcher has arrived at the scene. Live footage shows firemen walking around carrying ladders



10.06 am A police source tells a news network that the siege is coming to an end.

10.12 am Police sources say that RAID officers are now in Merah's flat.

10.21 am Police sources say officers are moving "step by step" through Merah's flat for fear of booby traps.

10.28 am Gunfire reported from two different directions rather than the same source.

10.29 am Huge barrage of automatic gunfire. The firefight is intensifying.

10.31 am After five minutes of almost non-stop gunfire interspersed with explosions, silence seems to have fallen in the building.

10.35 am Police confirm Merah is dead.







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