According to reports, French police say that two people have been killed and about a dozen have been wounded in supermarket hostage-taking in southern France town of Trebes.
Reports indicate that the terrorist, a man in his 30s from a Moroccan background who was known to police, is now believed to be alone with one police officer in the supermarket. He is reportedly demanding the release of Salah Abdeslam, the last surviving suspect in the November 2015 ISIS attack in Paris that left 130 dead
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that all information currently suggests that the shooting inside the Super U supermarket in southern France and the earlier shooting of a police officer “seems to be a terrorist act.”
Anti-terror prosecutors have also taken over the investigation. At this time, it has not been confirmed whether the assailant is connected to ISIS.
via the New York Times:
An armed man entered a Super U market in Trèbes, about 50 miles southeast of Toulouse, claiming to be acting on behalf of the Islamic State, although his connection to the militant group was unclear. The Paris prosecutor’s office, which handles terrorism cases nationwide, said that a terrorism investigation had been opened, but it did not elaborate.
France continues to be on high alert after deadly terrorist attacks struck the country in 2015 and 2016, mainly in Paris and Nice. Although there have not been any large attacks since the one in Nice in July 2016, there have been several smaller-scale assaults by lone individuals, and the French authorities regularly announce that new plots have been thwarted.
The Interior Ministry said on Twitter that a police operation was underway in Trèbes, and Gérard Collomb, the interior minister, said he was heading to the scene. The local prefecture said on Twitter that the area around the Super U in that town had been cordoned off.
Frédéric de Lanouvelle, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, told the BFM TV news channel that the gunman was still inside the supermarket, but he said he could not confirm reports about any dead or wounded.