French police 'hero' who swapped himself for a hostage dies

French police 'hero' who swapped himself for a hostage dies

French police 'hero' who swapped himself for a hostage dies

The woman who lived with the gunman who killed three people and took hostages at a supermarket in southwest France on Friday has been detained for questioning, the country's top anti-terror prosecutor said.

In the town of Trebes, he charged into a Super-U supermarket, shouting, "I am a soldier of Daesh [Arabic for ISIS]!" and took hostages.

The suspect, identified as 26-year-old Redouane Lakdim, shot dead two people at the supermarket after earlier opening fire on passengers in a auto, killing one of them, and injuring a police officer in nearby Carcassonne.

Three people were killed and 16 others were wounded in attacks by a Franco-Moroccan gunman in and around Carcassonne, southern France on Friday.

Prior to taking his hostages, #French Police officials say that Lakdim killed two different people at different locations before driving to Trebes.

Lakdim first killed one person with a bullet in the head while stealing a vehicle in Carcassonne, which is one of France's top tourist attractions.

French President Emmanuel Macron said it appeared to be a terrorist attack, the first to hit France since he became leader in May. The officer is said to be a 45-year-old man who is a serving lieutenant colonel in the French Gendarmerie.

Molins said that the attacker had fired several times on the officer "in circumstances that remain to be clarified", triggering the intervention of the special forces. Then he went back to see where the assailant was and called police to describe the situation.

In a press conference late Friday, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said a female associate of Lakdim had been placed in custody in connection with Friday's attacks.

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Survivors of the supermarket siege said he shouted "Allahu Akbar" and identified himself as a supporter of Islamic State willing to die for Syria.

Earlier, Mr Collomb said that though he had been known to authorities as a petty criminal. they "did not think he had been radicalised".

Earlier, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said that all signs pointed towards a "terrorist act". Without naming sources, it said he was active on Salafist social networks.

Macron said the investigation should answer several questions - when and how the gunman was radicalized and where he got a weapon.

Up to 12 people are now reported to be injured, after the gunman reportedly demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, the most important surviving suspect in the 13 November 2015 attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people.

Sixteen people were injured, two seriously, in what Mr Macron called an act of "Islamist terrorism".

Another police officer, who volunteered to replace one of the hostages at the Super-U grocery store in Trebes, is now fighting for his life after being severely wounded by the terrorist. He left his phone line open during the operation so police could monitor the situation, Interior Minister Gérard Collomb told reporters.

The wording suggested that the attacker was inspired by the Islamic State, rather than directed by it. The officers were returning from jogging and were wearing athletic clothing with police insignia, the AP reports.

A police officer was also in hospital after being shot in a separate incident 15 minutes' drive away in the town of Carcassonne a quarter of an hour before the hostage-taking began.

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