A man engaged in a shoot-out with French police on Wednesday, suspected of killing four people at a Jewish school this week, claims to be linked to al Qaeda, Interior Minister Claude Gueant said.

He claims to be a mujahideen and to belong to al Qaeda, Gueant told journalists at the scene of the siege.

He also said the man had been in Afghanistan. He wanted revenge for the Palestinian children and he also wanted to take revenge on the French army because of its foreign interventions, Gueant said.

He said that police were also talking to the brother of the man who, Gueant said, was 24 years old. Police sources told Reuters that a man had been arrested earlier on Wednesday at a separate location in connection with the killings.

(Reporting by Daniel Flynn and Geert de Clercq; Editing by Louise Ireland)