TOULOUSE, France (AP) – Three explosions were heard near an apartment building in southwest France where a suspected gunman is holed up, but an Interior Ministry spokesman would not confirm the blasts meant the start of an assault.
Another Interior Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of office rules, said the suspect had gone back on a previous decision to turn himself in _ and that police had blown up the shutters outside the apartment window to pressure him to change his mind.
Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet would not confirm an assault.
Orange flashes lit up the night sky with each blast near the Toulouse apartment building where police have been surrounding 24-year-old suspect, Mohamed Merah, since a pre-dawn effort to arrest him went awry.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
TOULOUSE, France (AP) _ Riot police surrounded an apartment building into the night on Wednesday, laying siege to a gunman who boasted of bringing France “to its knees” by carrying out an al-Qaida-linked terror spree that killed seven people.