Mohammed Merah
Mohammed Merah Reuters

Mohammed Merah, the gunman wanted in connection with the killings of three children, a rabbi and three soldiers, is dead.

He died in a hail of bullets when police and commandos stormed his flat in Toulouse where he had been under siege for 30 hours.

As they fanned out through his apartment, Merah burst out of the bathroom and opened fire with "a ferocity never seen before" before jumping to his death through the bathroom window, still firing. He was found dead on the ground.

Interior minister Claude Gueant said security forces decided to storm the flat as there has been no reaction from the apartment for hours. They broke in an searched all rooms before Merah burst out of the bathroom.

Three police officers were wounded, one in "fairly serious" condition.

Merah barricaded himself in the flat after shooting dead three children and a rabbi at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday.

He was also wanted in connection with the killings of three soldiers.

The deaths led to one of the biggest manhunts in French history.

President Nicolas Sarkozy will give a public statement on the shootout.