Investigator: French gunman planned to kill soldier, policemen

A gunman suspected of killing seven people in southwest France in the name of al Qaeda had planned to kill another soldier and two police officials before he was surrounded by police in an early morning raid on Wednesday, an investigator said.

Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said the beseiged gunman, Mohamed Merah, had told police negotiators that he had received training from al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Merah has also claimed responsibility for the killings of three soldiers of North African origin last week and four people at a Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday, Molins said.

Reporting By Daniel Flynn; editing by Leigh Thomas