Entries in standoff (4)


French School Shooting Suspect Dead, Ending Standoff

Getty Images(TOULOUSE, France) -- The man believed to be behind the killings of seven people in Toulouse, France, is dead after a two-day standoff with police.

French Interior Minister Claude Gueant delivered a statement early Thursday, declaring Mohammed Merah had died.

Gueant said special forces were instructed Thursday to enter his apartment -- where Merah had been holed up since the standoff began on Wednesday -- because he was "dangerous" and threatened to kill police officers.

The interior minister said authorities at first could not locate Merah, who was hiding in the bathroom and later emerged, shooting "madly at everyone."  Merah then jumped out of a window to his death, weapons still in hand, according to Gueant.

Two police officers were reportedly injured in the raid, though neither critically.

The initial plan was to take 24-year-old Merah alive in order to question him about his alleged ties to al Qaeda and whether others were involved in Monday's shooting at a Jewish school that left a rabbi and three children dead, and two separate incidents last week that resulted in the deaths of three paratroopers.

But Gueant raised the possibility Wednesday night that the suspected gunman, who claimed to have been trained by al Qaeda during trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan, might kill himself rather than be taken into custody.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Man Takes Daughter Hostage in Sydney Office Siege

Jupiterimages/ThinkstockUPDATE: After a near 12-hour standoff, police have arrested the man who entered a courthouse in Sydney's Parramatta suburb, claiming to have a bomb and holding his 12-year-old daughter hostage.  According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the girl was rescued by police unharmed, and the suspect is expected to appear in court on Wednesday.  His motives are currently being investigated.

(SYDNEY) -- A hostage standoff was triggered in a Sydney suburb on Tuesday when a man entered an office complex accompanied by his daughter, demanded to see a person he believed to work there and told the receptionist that he had a bomb in his backpack.

Police have surrounded the area in Parramatta and a number of ambulances and fire trucks remain on the scene.

Photos of the man peering out of the office window wearing the style of wig worn by lawyers in Australian court appeared on the Sydney Morning Herald.  The man reportedly smashed the window open with a bottle, yelled through the hole and then threw the bottle followed by a telephone handset.

The man reportedly arrived in the office and asked office clerk Betty Hor to see a person from the local court.  She said that the man was meant to appear in court on Monday, but was not able to find the person he intended to meet.

“I think he just snapped,” Hor told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The man who appears to be about 50-years-old was accompanied by a young girl, who reportedly looked about 10-years-old.  She was heard referring to him as “Dad” when he threw a book at the reception area.  He then took her to the front of the building and closed the door.

He reportedly was seen peering from the window, pointing at himself to give the “thumbs up” sign, and then to the lawyer’s wig and giving the “thumb down” sign.  Police on the scene have confirmed that he claims to have a bomb.

“He has made a number of demands and negotiators are working through those demands with him, I don’t believe … anything to do with custody.  At this stage she [the girl] is well, as well as she can be,” Assistant Police Commissioner Dennis Clifford said.

Police had moved people at least 100 yards from the office building, according to Robert Hoffman, who works in a nearby office building.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dozens Killed, Wounded During Hostage Standoff in Iraq

Antenna Audio, Inc./Getty Images(TIKRIT, Iraq) -- At least 56 people were killed and more than 95 wounded Tuesday during a hostage situation that turned into a five-hour standoff inside a government building in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit.

Authorities said that the carnage was the result of eight or nine armed militants dressed in police uniforms taking control of the building where the provincial council and other government offices are located.

It's believed that the militants began killing their hostages when Iraqi security forces launched an assault to retake the building.  At least two of the insurgents were wearing explosive vests that they reportedly detonated.

Police later said that the dead included three Salaheddin provincial council members, the chief of Salaheddin police and a local journalist.

One senior police member speculated that the hostage situation was a plot hatched by al Qaeda and that their militants were intending to assassinate all the provincial council members.  Some American soldiers who helped in the rescue operation received minor wounds.

Sunni-dominated Tikrit is the birthplace of late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Political Standoff in Ivory Coast Becoming More Deadly

Photo Courtesy - ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images(YAMOUSSOUKRO, Ivory Coast) -- A political stand-off may be coming to a violent climax in Ivory Coast, as clashes between supporters of opposing politicians rock the country. 

Dozens have reportedly been killed, as incumbent President Laurent Bgagbo continues to refuse to cede power to rival Alassene Outarra, who is widely believed to have won the country's presidential election last year. 

More than 200,000 refugees have fled the violence in fear that the West-African nation is sliding into civil war.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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