Atlanta 6/21/2012 12:51:21 AM
News / World

Bank Hostages Safe After French Police Capture Gunman

A gunman claiming to be an al Qaeda militant was captured Wednesday in southern France after taking four people hostage at a bank. Authorities say all four of the hostages are unharmed and the gunman is alive but wounded after the 5 hour standoff. The gunmen’s identity has not been released, but police did confirm he has a history of psychiatric problems. The man is from the Haute Garonne region of France.

Prosecutor Michel Valet said the suspect made it clear in conversations with negotiators that he was acting for his religious beliefs. “The hostage-taker ... wants us to make it known that he is acting not for money, and that his motivations come from his religious conviction," Valet told reporters.

The standoff began at CIC Bank in Toulouse shortly after 11 a.m. local time when the man took the bank director and three employees hostage. The suspect released two hostages during the course of the standoff. The other two were rescued when police raided the bank and captured the gunman. The nature of the suspect’s injuries is unclear.

"We can consider that things have ended rather well, no police officers injured, that the four hostages are not injured either, and that the hostage-taker, while he may be injured, his life is apparently not in danger," added Valet.


Click here for more World News