French prosecutor: Gunman planned to kill soldier

JOHANNA DECORSE Associated Press Published:

TOULOUSE, France (AP) -- A French prosecutor says that a gunman in a standoff with police had planned to kill another soldier imminently, prompting a major police raid on his apartment.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said the gunman remains holed up in the apartment in the city of Toulouse more than 13 hours after the standoff began before dawn Wednesday. Negotiations are under way.

Molins says the gunman, Mohamed Merah, had been to Afghanistan twice and had trained in the militant stronghold of Waziristan.

Molins says the gunman's brother had been implicated in a network sending fighters to Iraq.

The gunman is suspected of killing three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers in a wave of attacks in southern France in recent days.