Mr Merah is accused of shooting dead three soldiers last week, and a rabbi and three children from a Jewish school on Monday. Last night several minor explosions were heard in the area, which the police revealed as attempts to intimidate and unnerve Mr Merah.
He has now said that he wishes to die “weapon in hand”, but French Police say they are determined to take him alive and put him on trial. However, there was no reaction to the explosions, during which two gunshots were heard in his flat. Since then, there has been no contact with the suspect.
French Interior Minister Claude Gueant has told local radio, "We have one priority: to take him alive so that he can surrender to face justice. We hope he is still alive.
Francois Molins, France’s anti-terror head added, "He's explained that he's not suicidal, he doesn't have the soul of a martyr and he prefers to kill but to stay alive himself."
Police in Toulouse surrounded Merah’s block of flats in the very early morning on Wednesday. Since then, Merah’s has reportedly admitted to the killings, has been described as a member of al-Qaeda and is supposedly armed with a Kalashnikov high-velocity rifle, a mini-Uzi 9mm machine pistol, several handguns and possibly grenades.
Meanwhile, the state funeral for the three soldiers killed last week took place yesterday. President Nicolas Sarkozy paid tribute to those murdered.