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French killer spent time in Kandahar jail: official

French killer spent time in Kandahar jail: official

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Mar 22, 2012 - 20:08

KANDAHAR CITY (PANinfo-icon): Although a senior official at the central jail in southern Kandahar province admits the Frenchman who killed seven people at a Jewish school had spent time in prison, the claim was rejected by the governor’s house.

Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old French citizen of Algerian descent, was killed on Wednesday after a 32-hour standoff with police in the southern city of Toulouse.

Merah was suspected of killing three schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers. He had travelled to Afghanistaninfo-icon and Pakistaninfo-icon for receiving militant training.

In charge of Kandahar central jail Col. Ghulam Farooq told Pajhwok Afghan News that Mareh had been arrested in Kandahar City in 2003 for planting roadside bombs.

A court sentenced him to three years in jail, but he managed to escape in 2004 after a suicide bomber attacked the jail. Mareh was among 904 prisoners fleeing the prison, he recalled.

But the governor’s house spokesman, Zalmay Ayubi, said no prisoner by the name of Merah had been arrested in Kandahar. He claimed there was no record with judicial organs and security forces to show the Frenchman had been arrested in Kandahar.

“The record shows that no person by the name of Mohamed Merah was ever arrested during the past decade,” Ayubi insisted.

Col. Farooq said the prison record did not contain any information whether Merah was an Afghan or a French national. He added they had documents related to his case and jail term.

ma/mud

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