Gunman Shot Dead by French Police After Two Killed in Trèbes Supermarket Hostage Situation (UPDATED)Crime | March 23, 2018, Friday // 16:09| views
Police have shot dead a gunman who killed two people and injured three others in a hostage-taking at a supermarket in the town of Trèbes, near Carcassonne in southern France, reported the Guardian.
Police union official Yves Lefebvre confirmed the suspect was shot dead by police.
A major counter-terrorism police operation took place in the town after the armed man earlier attempted to run down four police officers on their morning run near Carcassonne and then opened fire, injuring one officer in the shoulder.
The same individual, who local officials said had sworn allegiance to Islamic State, reportedly then drove to the supermarket in Trèbes, entered the store and took eight people hostage. The armed man entered the busy supermarket at about 11am local time.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, speaking at the EU summit in Brussels, said that everything suggested the incident was “terrorist” in nature and he would return to Paris to coordinate the response.
The hostage-taking in #Trèbes supermarket is the first major suspected terrorist incident since Macron lifted France’s two-year state of emergency last autumn and toughened anti-terror laws.
The state of emergency was declared by the former Socialist president François Hollande on the night of the Paris attacks of November 2015, in which 130 people were killed, and was ended by Macron in October.
BFM TV reported that the hostage-taker had asked for the release of Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving suspect from the jihadi group that carried out the November 2015 Paris attacks. Abdeslam is in solitary confinement in a French high security prison as the investigation into the Paris attacks continues.
Le Monde reported that the hostage-takers’ car found at the supermarket carpark belonged to a Moroccan national known to the security services.
The mayor of Trèbes, Eric Ménassi, told LCI TV the man had entered the shop screaming “Allahu Akbar, I’ll kill you all”.
France’s interior ministry said two people had been killed in the hostage situation, with three people injured, one seriously. Police surrounded the branch of Super U and authorities have warned people to avoid the area.
The interior minister, Gérard Collomb, was heading to the scene on Friday after talking with Macron.
French police have undertaken training on hostage-taking situations in supermarkets in recent years. In January 2015, after the Paris terror attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a gunman, Amédy Coulibaly, held hostages at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris, killing four people before police shot him dead.
More details soon …