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Islamic Fanatic Dies in Shootout With French Cops
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Reuters reported that explosions and gunfire were heard for about four minutes as police special forces moved in on the apartment overnight. Authorities used gas to try and paralyze the suspect, the report said.

Elite police squads set off sporadic blasts throughout the night and into the morning -- some blew off the apartment's shutters -- in what officials described as a tactic aimed to pressure 24-year-old Merah to give up.

Gueant said "it's rather strange that he never reacted" to the detonations.

Two or three gunshots were heard from the area of the apartment building overnight. The interior minister said the source of the gunshots was unclear.

Gueant arrived at the scene Thursday morning, as did silver-helmeted firefighters with first aid materials, including what appeared to be two stretchers. No information was reported about whether there were new injuries or whether that was just a precautionary measure.


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