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At least 1 killed in French supermarket hostage-taking

At least 1 killed in French supermarket hostage-taking
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A police union official says a suspect has shot dead one person and seriously wounded another inside a supermarket in the southern French town of Trebes.

Published Friday, March 23, 2018 7:33AM EDT

Last Updated Friday, March 23, 2018 8:12AM EDT

PARIS -- An armed man took hostages in a supermarket in southern France on Friday, killing at least one and seriously wounding another. He had earlier opened fire on police nearby.

The attacker was still in the supermarket and it was not clear how many other people were inside with him.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said all information suggested it "seems to be a terrorist act."

The man first fired six shots at police officers who were on their way back from jogging near the city of Carcassonne on Friday morning, said Yves Lefebvre, secretary general of SGP Police-FO police union. One police officer had a shoulder injury but it was not serious, Lefebvre said.

The suspect then went to a Super U supermarket in the nearby small town of Trebes, where he shot and killed one person and shot another who is in life-threatening condition, Lefebvre said.

Special police units were sent to the scene and local authorities blocked roads and urged residents to stay away.

The Paris prosecutor s office said counterterrorism investigators were taking over the probe but did not provide details about why. The move came after unconfirmed media reports that the assailant claimed connections to the Islamic State group.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb headed for the scene after talking with French President Emmanuel Macron, who is following the situation closely, according to a security official.

France has been on high alert since a string of Islamic extremist attacks in 2015 and 2016 that killed more than 200 people.

The Friday that police and rescue operations are the priority.

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

Intervention de police en cours #Trbes dans l #Aude . La priorit est l intervention des forces de police et de secours. Plus d informations venir sur ce compte, ne diffusez pas de rumeurs pic.twitter.com/M2t4mLccG0

#Trbes : je fais un point de situation en visioconfrence avec nos forces de scurit depuis lcole Nationale Suprieure de Police o jtais ce matin en dplacement. pic.twitter.com/Nj0PEim60k

#Trbes #Aude #Carcassonne Un primtre de #scurit a t mis en place. Evitez le secteur et restez l coute des consignes des autorits. pic.twitter.com/mjpK2ajz0y

A police union official says a suspect has shot dead one person and seriously wounded another inside a supermarket in the southern French town of Trebes.
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