In this image taken from La Depeche Du Midi, police attend an incident in Trebes, southern France, Friday March 23, 2018. French counterterrorism prosecutors are taking charge of the investigation into the shooting of a police officer in southern France that has led to an apparent hostage-taking at a supermarket. (La Depeche Du Midi via AP)

Two killed, dozen hurt in French supermarket hostage-taking

French counterterrorism prosecutors are taking charge of the investigation into the shooting of a police officer in southern France

An armed man took hostages in a supermarket in southern France on Friday, killing two and injuring about a dozen others, police said. He had earlier opened fire on officers nearby.

A spokesman with the national police service told The Associated Press that the attacker was still in the supermarket but it was unclear if there were people inside with him.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said all information suggested it “seems to be a terrorist act.” France has been on high alert since a string of Islamic extremist attacks in 2015 and 2016 that killed more than 200 people.

The attacker 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, about 60 miles (100 kilometres) southeast of Toulouse.

The national police spokesman, who was not authorized to be publicly named, said an operation to apprehend him was underway.

Related: Van rams bus stops in France, killing one

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. Unconfirmed media reports say 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.

Related:ISIS takes responsibility for Barcelona terror attack

___

Associated Press Writer Angela Charlton contributed to this report.

Sylvie Corbet And Samuel Petrequin, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

In this image taken from BFM TV shows a police vehicle parked on a crossroad in Trebes, southern France, near the scene of an incident, Friday March 23, 2018. French counterterrorism prosecutors are taking charge of the investigation into the shooting of a police officer in southern France that has led to an apparent hostage-taking at a supermarket. (BFM TV via AP)

Just Posted

Needles found at Goldstream campground in Langford

West Shore RCMP respond to several calls for service associated with homeless campers

Only tent city residents allowed access at Goldstream Park campsites

Local RCMP point to reports of criminal activity and drug use in the area as cause for safety concerns

Paving complete, lines coming to the Malahat this week

$34 million safety project is 95 per cent complete with hope to relieve traffic congestion between Victoria and Nanaimo

School crossing guard clears truck debris left from evening crash

Truck crashes into hydro pole on Saanich/Oak Bay border

Neighbours fear impact of tent city residents on Goldstream Provincial Park

Langford residents opposed to campers voice concerns at campground gate

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Hospice to B.C. council race candidate dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Breast density to be included in mammogram results across B.C.

The information is crucial in proactively reducing the risk of breast cancer, doctors say

Canada to boost support for riskier forms of renewable energy: minister

A $30-million contribution to a $117-million tidal project hopes to harness the immense power of the Bay of Fundy

Most Read