Qaeda group claims Toulouse shootings

2012-03-22 20:08

Dubai - Al-Qaeda linked group Jund al-Khilafah has claimed responsibility for shootings this week in France, according to a statement posted on jihadist websites on Thursday.

"On ... March 19th, our brother Yousef the Frenchman carried out an operation that shook the foundations of the Zionist Crusaders ... and filled their hearts with terror," said the statement apparently referring to the shooting of an Israeli-French teacher and three children at a Jewish school in France.

"We claim responsibility for these operations," said the statement, adding that Israel's "crimes ... will not go unpunished".

The statement was pulled from some websites shortly after it was posted but remained on several other websites.

According to US monitoring group SITE, Jund al-Khilafah has previously claimed attacks in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan.

French police on Thursday shot dead in Toulouse a self-proclaimed al-Qaeda militant suspected of carrying out seven killings in France.

Mohamed Merah, who admitted shooting dead three soldiers and three children and a teacher at a Jewish school, also tried to shoot his way out of the siege in Toulouse after police from the elite RAID force entered his flat.

Merah told authorities he had been trained by al-Qaeda on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

The shootings began on March 11, when a paratrooper of North African origin was killed after arranging to meet a man in Toulouse to sell him a scooter.

Four days later three more paratroopers from another regiment were gunned down in the streets of the nearby garrison town of Montauban, two of whom died.

The Jund al-Khilafah statement did not mention any of the shootings in detail nor make reference to the killings of paratroopers.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  mohamed merah  |  france  |  religion

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