A gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group fired shots and took hostages at a supermarket in southwestern France on Friday. The latest reports say at least two people were feared dead in an incident French prosecutors are treating as a terror attack.
Security forces responded to two separate incidents, one at a supermarket in the town of Trèbes and the second, a 15-minute drive away, in the town of Carcassonne where a policeman was shot. Two incidents now believed to be linked - Gunman reported as a Moroccan national - known to the intelligence services.
In Trebes, the man "entered the Super U supermarket at around 11.15 am and shots were heard," a security source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
One witness said the attacker had shouted Allahu Akbar as he burst into the store. The gunman claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group, the local prosecutor's office said. According to French newspaper Le Depeche du Midi, the gunman was about 30-years-old, was armed with one or more grenades and spoke of wanting to "avenge Syria". . . also demanded the release of Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam.
Reports claim at least one person was killed while some French media reported there were two victims in the supermarket believed to have been killed.
"We unfortunately presume one person has been killed, but we cannot bring a doctor on site to check," Jean-Valery Lettermann, the regional police chief. Trebes mayor Eric Menassi confirmed the attack ...the supermarket butcher had been killed. ...and said seven hostages have since been released, leaving the gunman alone in the supermarket with another police officer.
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