Gunman in France takes hostages in supermarket, suspect among dead

Mar 23, 2018, 5:49 AM | Updated: 8:34 am

A gunman took hostages and killed three people Friday inside a supermarket in southern France before he was shot to death by police.

Over a dozen hostages in the small town of Trebes were wounded by a man who claimed to be part of the Islamic State group.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said counterterrorism investigators had taken over the tense situation at a Super U store, where a police officer voluntarily took the place of a hostage. He then left his cellphone on during the standoff to stay in contact with authorities outside.

French President Emmanuel Macron, attending a European Union summit in Brussels, Belgium, said all evidence suggested the hostage-taking and shootings were a terrorist attack.

BBC reported hundreds of police officers had rushed to the store and that the area was roped off.

The attacker first fired six shots at police officers on their way back from jogging near the city of Carcassonne on Friday morning, Yves Lefebvre, an official with the police union, said.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb identified the suspect as Redouane Lakdim, 26.

He said during the standoff Lakdim asked that the sole-surviving assailant of Nov. 13, 2015, attacks in Paris be released.

The French have endured several terrorist attacks in recent years, including Paris and Nice in July 2016. Over 100 died in the Paris in a barrage of violence spread over the city.

Most of the Paris suspects died in suicide bombings.

A lone suspect killed nearly 90 people and injured 458 when he drove a truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Gunman in France takes hostages in supermarket, suspect among dead