The alleged Al-Qaeda militant believed responsible for a killing spree is dead, a police source said Thursday, after he resisted a raid on his besieged home in southern France.
Three police were wounded in the assault, one "fairly seriously", with journalists able to hear sustained gunfire from at least two weapons as police entered the flat in Toulouse where Mohamed Merah was holed up.
Three loud explosions were heard earlier near the apartment block where Merah was barricaded.
Police had said they were setting off explosions near the building to keep up pressure on the suspect.
Interior Minister Claude Gueant arrived at the scene shortly before the blasts, an AFP reporter said. France's chief anti-terror prosecutor, Francois Molins, was also on site.