Toulouse murder suspect 'escaped from Kandahar jail' after bomb plot

By Jennifer Lipman, March 21, 2012

The suspected killer of four people at a Jewish school in Toulouse escaped from a prison in Afghanistan four years before carrying out the massacre.

Ghulam Faruq , the director of Kandahar prison , said that Mohammed Merah was one of hundreds of Taliban-connected prisoners who escaped during a Taliban attack on the jail in 2008.

According to the BBC, Merah was jailed for three years the previous December for planning a bomb attack in Kandahar.

According to Le Monde, as well as his time in Afghanistan, Merah – a French citizen of Algerian descent – also visited Pakistan, where he trained with Taliban militants.

Merah told police he wanted revenge on behalf of the Palestinians and also to avenge France's military involvement overseas.

Police trapped Merah at the Toulouse house in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and the stand-off has continued since. Two police officers have been wounded, and although Merah has said he would hand himself in later today, it is believed that he is currently refusing to communicate with the police.

Last updated: 12:50pm, March 21 2012