Al Qaeda man takes hostages in France (Lead)

June 20th, 2012 - 6:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, June 20 (IANS) A man claiming to have links with Al Qaeda took four people hostage Wednesday in a bank in southern France’s Toulouse town, while a French national and a senior member of the terror outfit was arrested near Pakistan’s border with Iran.

Police told France’s BFMTV news channel the presumed Al Qaeda member fired a shot inside the bank premises. No injuries were reported.

In March, another Al Qaeda-inspired man killed three soldiers and four Jewish civilians, including three children, in Toulouse. He was later shot dead by police at his home.

In another incident related to France and Al Qaeda, French national Naamen Maziche, a senior member of the outfit, was arrested near Pakistan’s border with Iran, Pakistani military sources said.

The arrested man is a close associate of Younis al Mauritan, who was appointed by slain leader Osama bin Laden as commander of operations in Africa.

Al Mauritan and three of his associates were arrested in Quetta city last year.

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