March 22 - French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy announces a crackdown on internet hate sites as he addresses the nation in the wake of the Toulouse siege. Simon Hanna reports.
Amateur footage has emerged of Mohamed Merah, who died on Thursday after a police siege in Toulouse. The footage, believed to be around two years old, shows the Frenchman of Algerian origin performing a 'rodeo' manoeuvre with his car. Before being killed in a shootout with France's special forces, Merah admitted being behind the killings of seven people in the region, including three children at a Jewish school on Monday. Two commandos were injured in the operation after a 30 hour standoff with police, which ended in dramatic fashion as Merah fired at police as he scrambled out of a window. Shortly after the siege, French President Nicolas Sarkozy offered his condolences to the victims of the recent shootings. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY: "The author of the vile assassinations in Toulouse and Montauban was indentified and incapacitated. To the victims: children, soldiers, a father, and their families. I would like to reserve my firth thoughts and extend my condolences on behalf of a united country." Sarkozy went on to announce a crackdown on websites that advocate terrorism or hate crimes, and on people who went abroad for ideological indoctrination. Merah, who claimed that al Qaeda inspired him to carry out his attacks, is suspected of having been trained during previous visits to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Simon Hanna, Reuters.