Friday Mar 30, 201210:03 AM GMT
French leader likens Toulouse shootings to 9/11, vowing crackdown
French President Nicolas Sarkozy
Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:58AM
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy has vowed to continue cracking down on the so-called suspected Islamists, comparing the recent Toulouse shootings to the September 11, 2001 incidents in the US.

"The trauma… is profound for our country, a little -- I don't want to compare the horrors -- a little like the trauma that followed in the United States and in New York after the September 11, 2001 attacks," he said in an interview with Europe 1 radio on Friday.

On March 22, suspected shooter Mohammed Merah killed seven individuals in a shooting rampage in Toulouse.

Merah was later killed by French security forces. Authorities claim he had admitted to having links to al-Qaeda before his death, the circumstances of which remain murky as there are conflicting reports regarding the case.

French police have arrested about 20 Muslims in pre-dawn raids in Toulouse and reportedly seized Kalashnikov-type assault rifles.

On Sunday, authorities charged the gunman's brother, Abdel-Kader Merah, with complicity in the attacks, although he has denied any involvement in the terrorist incident.

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