Politics

PHOTOS: Police surround Toulouse shooting suspect as Israel mourns his victims

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A policeman stands near the Belle Paule residence in Toulouse, south-west France, where the suspect in three recent shootings was resisting arrest on March 21, 2011.

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ERIC CABANIS

The suspect, 24-year-old Mohammed Merah, is reportedly communicating with police but remains inside his apartment, where he is believed to have weapons. 

Meanwhile, the bodies of his Jewish victims were flown to Israel, to be buried in Jerusalem. Their joint funeral was attended by hundreds of mourners, including officials from the French and Israeli governments.

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    Police and other members of the emergency services are on the scene. Two officers were injured as they attempted to enter the suspect's residence. He handed over one gun to police through the window, but is believed to have more inside his apartment.

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    Getty Images

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    A policeman stands near the Belle Paule residence in Toulouse, south-west France, where the suspect in three recent shootings was resisting arrest on March 21, 2011.

    Credit:

    ERIC CABANIS

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    Local residents were evacuated from the area as police attempted to negotiate with the suspect. The operation lasted several hours.

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    Getty Images

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    The French special forces unit, RAID, is leading the operation to capture the suspect, Mohammed Merah.

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    PASCAL GUYOT

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    France's Jewish central Consistory Joel Mergui (L) greets Paris Mosque rector Dalil Boubakeur (R), as they arrive at the presidential residence in Paris on March 20. Gilles Bernheim (C), Great Rabbin of France, is in the background. The government has consulted representatives from France's different religious communities following the attacks.

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    LIONEL BONAVENTURE

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    France's President Nicolas Sarkozy gives a speech after a meeting with representatives of French Jewish and Muslim communities at the Elysee Palace in Paris on March 21, as the operation to capture the suspect continued. Sarkozy congratulated the police on their investigation and promised that terrorists would not break up France's "national community."

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    FRANCOIS MORI

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    Relatives and mourners attended a ceremony at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school on March 20, before the bodies were transported to Israel for burial.

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    Gilles Bouquillon

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    Coffins containing the bodies of the four victims arrived from France at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv on March 21.

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    Handout by Zaka

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    An Israeli Zaka Volunteer watches over the bodies of the victims before their funeral in Jerusalem.

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    AHMAD GHARABLI

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    Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, his sons Ariel, 5, and Gabriel, 4, were buried along with 7-year-old Myriam Monsonego (not pictured) in the the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem, watched by thousands of mourners. Rabbi Sandler's wife, who is pregnant, has said she will not return to France but remain in Israel.

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    Handout by Hadrei Haredim