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France hostage crisis updates: Trèbes gunman killed by police; 3 dead, 2 injured in terror attack

At least three people were killed Friday in a shooting spree and hostage siege in southern France by a man claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group

FP Staff March 23, 2018 20:17:11 IST
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France hostage crisis updates: Trèbes gunman killed by police; 3 dead, 2 injured in terror attack

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Mar 23, 2018 - 21:06 (IST)

Islamic State claims responsibility for France terror attack  

The Islamic State jihadist group claimed responsibility for a shooting spree and hostage siege on Friday in southern France, its propaganda agency said. 

"The person who carried out the attack in Trebes in southern France is a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried out the operation in response to a call to target states" of the anti-IS international coalition, the Amaq agency said in a statement on social messaging app Telegram. —AFP

Mar 23, 2018 - 21:03 (IST)

French Interior Minister praises heroism of French cop who offered himself up as hostage swap 

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb has praised the "heroism" of a French police officer who offered himself up as a hostage swap during an attack in southern France and was seriously injured.

Collomb said the policeman "volunteered to swap his place with a hostage" at a supermarket in the town of Trebes and stayed with the armed suspect. He managed to leave his cell phone switched on after the swap, establishing a contact with officers outside the supermarket in the hours-long standoff Friday.

Collomb said elite French forces stormed the market and killed the gunman after hearing gunshots inside. He did not say how or when the police officer was injured. — AP

Mar 23, 2018 - 20:45 (IST)

Trèbes terror attack suspect, Redouane Lakdim, was known to the police but not deemed extremist threat: interior minister

The man who killed three people in a shooting spree and hostage siege in southern France on Friday was known to police but was not considered a terror threat, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said.

Collomb named the gunman, who was killed by police, as 26-year-old Redouane Lakdim and described him as a small-time drug dealer. "He was known by the police for petty crimes, we had monitored him and did not think he had been radicalised," Collomb said after arriving at the scene of the hostage-taking in the town of Trebes, near Carcassonne.

"He was already under surveillance when he suddenly decided to act," he said. Security sources had said the gunman was believed to be a Moroccan who was on a watch list of suspected Islamic extremists, but Collomb did not confirm his nationality. — AFP

Mar 23, 2018 - 20:14 (IST)

EU gives 'full support' to French people over attacks

The EU offers its full support to the French people amid a new set of attacks carried out Friday in France, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said.

"France has again been hit by a cowardly and bloody act," Juncker told an EU summit press conference, offering "all our feelings and our full support to the French authorities and the French people". —AFP

Mar 23, 2018 - 20:13 (IST)

French President Emmanuel Macron tweets about Trèbes terror attack 

Mar 23, 2018 - 19:31 (IST)

Emmanuel Macron says all evidence suggests hostage-taking, shootings were a terrorist attack

French President Emmanuel Macron said all evidence suggested the hostage-taking and shootings were a terrorist attack. Speaking in Brussels, where he is attending an EU summit, Macron offered his "full support" to everyone involved in the situation.

The president said he won't give details on the number of victims "at this stage." Macron said he would return to Paris in the coming hours and will follow closely the situation. —AP

Mar 23, 2018 - 19:23 (IST)

3 dead, 2 injured in three separate attacks in France

A gunman in southwest France has killed at least three people and injured two others in three separate incidents around the city of Carcassonne, security sources told AFP.

The man first hijacked a car in Carcassonne on Friday morning, killing a passenger and injuring the driver, the sources told AFP on condition of anonymity.

He then shot at a group of policemen nearby, leaving one of the officers injured, before driving to the nearby town of Trebes where he killed two people and injured another at a Super U supermarket, the sources said. —AFP

Mar 23, 2018 - 19:20 (IST)

Students in Trèbes made to stay inside schools, officials report all students are safe

The Paris prosecutor's office says the prosecutor who leads the country's counterterrorism office is heading to southern France to oversee the unfolding investigation of a hostage situation at a supermarket.

The school system in the Trèbes region says all students are safe and will remain inside schools until further notice. Parents and relatives have been told not to come to pick them up. —AP

Mar 23, 2018 - 19:16 (IST)

Gunman in Trèbes ​hostage-taking killed by the police

French police have killed a gunman who shot dead at least three people and injured two others in a hostage-taking and shooting spree in southwest France, security sources said.

A policeman involved in the freeing of all of the hostages at the Super U supermarket in the town of Trèbes was injured during the operation to kill the gunman, the source added, asking not to be named. — AFP 

Mar 23, 2018 - 19:12 (IST)

A policeman has been held by the gunman in France terror attack. Meanwhile, the other hostages have been released, security sources said to AFP 

Latest updates: French President Emmanuel Macron said all evidence suggested the hostage-taking and shootings were a terrorist attack, reports AP. Speaking in Brussels, where he is attending an EU summit, Macron offered his "full support" to everyone involved in the situation.

A gunman in southwest France has killed at least three people and injured two others in three separate incidents around the city of Carcassonne, security sources told AFP.

The man first hijacked a car in Carcassonne on Friday morning, killing a passenger and injuring the driver, the sources told AFP on condition of anonymity.

He then shot at a group of policemen nearby, leaving one of the officers injured, before driving to the nearby town of Trebes where he killed two people and injured another at a Super U supermarket, the sources said.

French investigators suspect the gunman who took people hostage at a supermarket on Friday is a Moroccan man who had been flagged as a potential extremist, a security source said to AFP.

France24 reports that the suspect in the Trèbes hostage-taking has reportedly asked for the release of the 2015 Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam. French private channel BFM TV has also reported the news, citing an anonymous source.

French president Emmanuel Macron to speak in Brussels on Trèbes hostage taking, reports Catherine Nicholson, a journalist at France24.

A public information unit has been set up for Trèbes and Carcassonne; people affected by the attack can contact the phone number: 0468102900.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that all information suggests that the shooting inside a supermarket in southern France and the earlier shooting of a police officer "seems to be a terrorist act".

A witness said to AFP that the suspect shouted "Allahu Akbar, I’ll kill you all" before going to the premises of Super U supermarket.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe described the situation, which investigators are treating as terrorism, as “very serious” and Interior Minister Gerard Collomb is heading to the site, his ministry said.

At least two persons were feared dead after a gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group fired shots in a hostage-taking at a supermarket in southwest France on Friday, police said.

French prosecutors say treating hostage-taking as a terror incident, reports AFP. 

A shooting and hostage-taking situation is unfolding at a supermarket in Trèbes, near Toulouse in south of France, AFP quoted a security source has saying. Prosecutors have said that the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the incident.

In a separate incident in the same area, a policeman was shot. A suspect has been surrounded at a supermarket in the town of Trebes, south of Toulouse, and the suspect might have taken hostages, national police said.

The man "entered the Super U supermarket at around 11.15 am and shots were heard," a source said. Local authorities tweeted that the area was out-of-bounds to the public.

The French interior ministry said that the police intervention is underway. "The priority is the intervention of the police and rescue forces. More information will come on this account, do not spread rumors," it said in a tweet.

Authorities in the Aude region are warning people to avoid the area around the supermarket.

With inputs from agencies

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