Standoff With Suspect In Deadly Shooting At French School

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(CNN)-An hour’s long standoff continues in France.  Police attempted to raid the apartment of the man suspected in seven recent murders, including Monday’s attack at a Toulouse school.
The situation escalated quickly, but we are learning more about the suspect.

Hundreds of French police officers surround a Toulouse, France apartment.  Inside, they say is 23 year old Mohammed Merah - a man they describe as a self-styled Jihadist.
Authorities try to coax the accused murderer into surrendering.

"As the policeman tried to approach the door, the individual fired through the door."

Two officers are injured.  Residents living nearby are evacuated.  As the hours roll on, the gunfire stops and the suspect starts talking.

Investigators are gradually learning more about the man believed to have opened fire at a Jewish school Monday, killing four people, including three children.

"He claims to be a Mujahideen and belongs to Al Qaeda and he wanted revenge for the Palestinian children and he also wanted to take revenge on the French army for its foreign intervention."

The suspect is also believed to be connected to the murders of three soldiers last week.  French president Nicolas Sarkozy spoke at a memorial service for the servicemen Wednesday.

"The death they faced was not the one they were prepared for. It wasn't death on the battlefield, but an execution.  A terrorist execution."

Police say suspect has been under surveillance for years and say he spent considerable time in Afghanistan and Pakistan training with al Qaeda.

French media report police have detained his brother, mother and girlfriend.