French teacher calls gunman a `victim`, suspended

A French teacher allegedly urged her class to observe a minute`s silence for gunman Mohamed Merah.

Updated: Mar 24, 2012, 12:00 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Rouen: A French teacher on Friday pushed herself into trouble when she allegedly urged her class to observe a minute`s silence for gunman Mohamed Merah.

Mohamed Merah, 23, was killed in a dramatic gunfight with police on Thursday after a 32-hour standoff at his Toulouse apartment.

The teacher was suspended after the final year class in the northern city of Rouen wrote to the principal that she called Merah a "victim" and said his links to terror group al Qaeda were made-up by media and "Sarko", referring to French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Education Minister Luc Chatel had called for the teacher’s suspension.

Speaking to journalists, the local education authority`s Florence Robine said: "An immediate suspension has been decided along with a ban on entering the school.”

Prosecutors said Merah filmed himself carrying out the attacks that began on March 11, killing three Jewish school children, a rabbi and three French paratroopers with close-range shots to the head. Another Jewish student and a paratrooper were wounded.