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

Jessa Pellerin presents ‘Heart Key’ exhibit at The Hub

Exhibit showcases custom signs ‘made with love’

On the heels of a Christmas release, singer Jess Moskaluke heads to City Jan. 29th

Moskaluke is on the road with Paul Brandt, High Valley and the Hunter Brothers

‘LETTERKENNY Live, the Encore’ lands at the Enmax Centrium Dec. 15th

Earlier this year, the original tour took over venues across the country

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Alberta Finance Minister says equalization program not working

Equalization formula fails Alberta again, says UCP

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

Most Read