Elite Police in France have arrested 20 suspected Islamists and seized weapons in a series of dawn raids, which were carried out in Toulouse, Nantes, Lyon, Marseille, Paris, Nice and Le Mans.

The raids in the Mirail quarter of Toulouse, is, in the home town of the Algerian radical Islamist gunman Mohamed Merah, who killed seven people in three separate attacks, and was killed himself on Thursday after a shoot-out with French Police.

Merah's brother, Abdelkader, has been charged with aiding him and police are hunting a third man said to be involved in the theft of a scooter that Merah used in all the killings. Footage of the killings was sent to Al Jazeera, which means the third man is still at large and a possible terrorist threat.

Police have been hunting possible accomplices but sources said there was no direct link with the raids.