France Hostage Crisis: Gunman On Rampage Leaves 2 Dead
gunman who is currently holding people hostage at a supermarket in Trèbes
A gunman who is currently holding people hostage at a supermarket in Trèbes, southern France, has believed to have already killed 2 people.
An operation involving the elite police is still not yet under control at the Super U shop, were others lie wounded.
According to reports, the gunman, who is still inside the supermarket, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group ISIS. A police officer was also shot and wounded while jogging with colleagues in Carcassonne just a 15-minute drive away.
The suspect is believed to be heavily armed and requesting the released of Salah Abdeslam, the most important surviving suspect in the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks which left 130 dead.
BBC reports: He was shot in the shoulder by the same suspect involved in the supermarket hostage-taking but is not critically injured, Yves Lefebvre, secretary-general of the SGP Police-FO union told the Associated Press.
Trèbes Mayor Eric Menassi told BFM TV that the gunman was now alone in the shop with one police officer, after other hostages were freed.
Reports say the suspect is known to French intelligence services and that his mother is at the scene.
Five things about Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam
A security source told French news agency AFP that most employees and customers at the supermarket "managed to flee".
French Jihadi terrorist who has taken hostages in France is now demanding the release of Salah Abdeslam who was involved in the Islamic attacks in Paris in November 2015!— Amy Mek (@AmyMek) March 23, 2018
This Moroccan national is ONCE again known to France's intelligence services yet nothing was done?! pic.twitter.com/BLE1aavwBw
Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said the situation was "serious" and that all signs pointed towards a "terrorist act".
Counter-terrorism prosecutors are leading the investigation but few details have been provided.
France has been hit with several deadly jihadist attacks since 2015 and has been on high alert since. A state of emergency put in place after the 2015 attacks in Paris was lifted in October.
In February, Salah Abdeslam went on trial in Belgium over a shootout in Brussels that led to his capture months after the Paris attacks. He is not expected to go on trial in France until 2020 at the earliest.
Major terror attacks in France
1 Oct 2017 - Two women stabbed to death at Marseille railway station; attack claimed by IS
26 Jul 2016 - Two attackers slit a priest's throat at his church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy. They are shot dead by police
14 Jul 2016 - A huge lorry mows down a crowd of people on the Nice beachfront during Bastille Day celebrations, killing 86. IS claims the attack - by a Tunisian-born driver, later shot dead by police
13 Jun 2016 - A police officer and his partner are stabbed to death at home by a jihadist, in Magnanville, west of Paris. He declares allegiance to IS, and police later kill him
13 Nov 2015 - IS jihadists armed with bombs and assault rifles attack Paris, targeting the national stadium, cafes and Bataclan concert hall. The co-ordinated assault leaves 130 people dead, and more than 350 wounded
7-9 Jan 2015 - Two Islamist gunmen storm the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 17 people. Another Islamist militant kills a policewoman the next day and takes hostages at a Jewish supermarket in Paris. Four hostages are killed before police shoot the gunman dead. The other two gunmen are cornered and killed by police in a siege.