French Interior Minister Claude Gueant confirmed Thursday noon that the suspect of an al-Qaeda-linked killing spree in southern France is dead after exchanging fire with the police.
Two police officers were injured, Gueant said.
Policemen stand by during a raid to arrest a suspect gunman in a string of killings in Toulouse, France, March 21, 2012. (Xinhua/Tang Ji)
The 24-year-old suspect Mohamed Merah, was hiding in the bathroom when French police stormed at around 11:00 a.m. local time the apartment where he had been holed up for some 30 hours.
He was dead after he threw himself out of the window while still firing his weapon at the police officers.
Police had been trying to capture alive Merah, who is allegedly responsible for the death of three French paratroopers of ethnic minority and four Jewish people, including three children, in the past weeks.
Merah had initially offered to give himself up to the police, but said later that he would "die with weapons in hand."