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Official: French gunman's mother released
French judicial official: mother of man who allegedly killed 7 released Friday without charge
By The Associated Press

PARIS (AP) ' A judicial official says the mother of the man accused of killing seven people in a shooting rampage in France has been released without charge.

The official says Zoulika Aziri was released late Friday. He spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity because the information wasn't cleared for public release.

Aziri's son Mohamed Merah is blamed for a series of deadly shootings which have shocked France. Merah died in a hail of gunfire Thursday after a dramatic standoff with law enforcement.



Merah's older brother Abdelkader Merah, and Abdelkader's girlfriend remain in custody in Paris.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

PARIS (AP) ' The mother of the man accused of killing seven people in a shooting rampage in France is set to be released, but his older brother has been transferred to Paris to face possible charges, a police union official said Saturday.

Abdelkader Merah was transferred to French police's anti-terrorist headquarters in Paris with an eye toward possible charges, union spokesman Michel Crepin told reporters. Merah's brother, Mohamed, died in a barrage of gunfire at his Toulouse apartment Thursday following a series of killings that has shocked France and upended the country's presidential race.

Investigators are trying to figure out whether or not Mohamed Merah acted alone, and Crepin told reporters that detectives have already gathered evidence to suggest that Abdelkader Merah may have helped his brother carry out his rampage.

Asked what police had on the brother, Crepin said there was evidence to suggest that Abdelkader Merah had "furnished means (and) worked as an accomplice." Crepin refused to comment further, saying it was for a judge to decide what charges, if any, to bring.

The brother, who was questioned several years ago about alleged links to a network sending Toulouse-area youths to Iraq, is being held along with his girlfriend.

Under French law if either of the two continue to be held beyond the weekend, preliminary charges will have to be filed.


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