Gunman in French hostage-taking incident killed by police, partner detained
President Emmanuel Macron called the killing of three people in southern France on Friday and act of “Islamist terrorism”, but said security services were still checking whether the ISIS group was really behind the attack as it claims.
French prosecutor also said a man who lived with dead supermarket shooting suspect has been detained.
“I want to tell the nation tonight of my absolute determination in leading this fight,” Macron said, flanked with his prime minister.
“I urge our fellow French citizens to remain aware of the terrorist threat, but to also be aware of the force and resistance our people demonstrated each and every time it was attacked,” Macron said.
Macron says the armed man who took hostages in a supermarket killed three people and wounded 16 hours.
He said investigators are trying to establish how the suspect obtained the gun used in the attack in Trebes and nearby city of Carcassonne, where officials say the 26-year-old hijacked a car and claimed his first victim.
Macron added detectives will also try to find out how and when Redouane Lakdim got radicalized. The suspect, who was shot and killed by police, was known by police services as a small-time drug dealer.
Macron, speaking after a meeting at the emergency center at the interior ministry, praised the courage of the police officer who offered himself up in a hostage swap and was seriously injured.
The president said: “He saved lives” and is now in a life-threatening condition.
French police killed the gunman holed up in supermarket in southern France where he had taken hostages earlier on Friday, a source close to the investigation said.
“The hostage-taker is dead,” the source said, adding that he was killed during a raid on the supermarket. Two officers were wounded, the source added.
Gerard Collomb, the French Interior Minister also confirmed the news on Twitter. Earlier three people were killed in three separate incidents which the government is treating as an act of terrorism.
At least one person was killed when a man took hostages in a supermarket in the southwestern French town of Trebes on Friday, the mayor told BFM TV.
Another person was hurt but their condition was not known, Mayor Eric Menassi said. The hostage-taker was now alone with one police officer in the supermarket and all other hostages had been freed, he told BFM.
LCI TV said the second victim was also dead and that 12 people were injured.
A police source had said earlier that eight people were being held hostage and that the hostage-taker had shot at a police officer.
ISIS claims attack
BFM TV said the hostage-taker has claimed allegiance to ISIS. The Paris prosecutor’s office said counter-terrorism prosecutors were investigating the incident but did not comment on the possible ISIS allegiance.
Earlier, the Interior Ministry had said security forces were carrying out an operation at a supermarket in southern France. Interior Minister Gerard Collomb was on his way.
“There is an ongoing situation near Carcassone...in the town of Trebes, where shots have been heard and a man entrenched himself in a supermarket,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said. “It’s a serious situation.”
The UNSA police union also said on Twitter a police operation was underway after an individual had earlier shot at four officers in the Carcassone region, wounding one of them.