The terrorist who murdered seven people in south west France has died in a ferocious gun battle after police stormed his apartment following a 32-hour siege.

Mohammed Merah, 23, who admitted a string of shootings that have rocked France, was reportedly shot in the head by a sniper as he tried to jump out of a bathroom window following a raid by French security forces.

According to officials, Merah hid in his bathroom during a mission by authorities to seize him, and later came out firing automatic weapons at officers.

Two officers were injured, with one who is still in a serious condition.

French police reportedly made the decision to seize Merah after he had threatened to kill police.

Interior Minister Claude Gueant said that special cameras were sent into the man’s house, but could not find him.

“It was when we were able to locate him in the bathroom that he came out shooting madly at everybody.

“The police had never seen anything like this kind of violence and the RAID police had to protect themselves,” he said.

According to Gueant, Merah the jumped out of the window and continued shooting whilst falling to the ground. He died on impact.

He had been holed up in his flat in the city of Toulouse with a number of weapons since 3AM yesterday.

Police decided to move in after talks broke down and Merah threatened to start killing officers.

Originally the authorities had wanted to arrest Merah, so that he could face justice.

After three explosions were heard, the deputy mayor of Toulouse and French police confirmed negotiations were over and that the assault had begun, with the door to the apartment being blown open.

The French-Algerian had been on a French security service watch list since 2008, the same year that he was arrested by US authorities in Afghanistan and sent back to France.

He apparently returned to Afghanistan last year, and was accused of helping planting bombs for the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Anti-terrorism chief Francois Molins said Merah had attended terrorist training camps in Waziristan, a lawless tribal area of north west Pakistan.

Back in France, Merah attacked a Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday, killing a Rabbi and three pupils. He reportedly filmed the shooting, and had pledged to post footage online.

He also shot dead three soldiers of North African and Carribean origin, in the same area in two separate attacks.

Toulouse is now in virtual lockdown, as hundreds of French anti-terror police officers flood into the city.

Police say they are questioning a number of suspects, including Merah’s brother, who is suspected of helping orchestrate the attacks.

They also suspect another woman who Merah had been in touch with in Paris whilst he was carrying out his crimes. 

Interior Minister Claude Gueant said Merah was acting out of revenge for France’s military involvement in Afghanistan, and the murder of Palestinian children by Israeli forces.


 Image credit Getty images