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Toulouse gunman divorces wife hours before assault

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11:53 CEST+02:00

The self-confessed gunman Mohamed Merah divorced his wife one day before French police launched an assault on his flat in Toulouse. Merah claimed he shot seven people in the Toulouse area to "avenge" Palestinian children.

23-year-old Mohamed Merah was married for three months to a yound woman in the Toulouse area, newswire AFP reports. Merah tied the knot in a religious ceremony in December.

"We were married on December 15 and our divorce was made official on March 20, two days before his death," the woman told AFP. 

The couple were not joined in a civil marriage which means their union is not recognised by the state. 

His former wife, who has not been identified in the French press, has refused to say why their marriage ended so soon. 

However, the couple were divorced one day before the French police launched a assault on his flat in a quiet neighbourhood in Toulouse. The assault lead to a 32-hour stand-off before Merah was shot by a police marksman. 

On Monday last week, Merah shot three children and a rabbi at the Jewish school Ozar Hatorah in Toulouse. He claimed he acted to avenge Palestinian children and punish French for its involvement in Afghanistan. 

He also claimed two other attacks in which three paratroopers of North African and Caribbean origin were killed. 

 

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