An armed Islamic terrorist 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 police officers nearby before attacking the grocery store.
It was reported around 10:00am Eastern that police had stormed the supermarket and killed the Islamic terrorist.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said all information confirmed it was a radical Islamic “terrorist act.” Following the unchecked migration of refugees in 2015, France has been on high alert. A string of Islamic extremist attacks in 2015 and 2016 have 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 southeast of Toulouse.
The national police spokesman said an operation was quickly launched to free the hostages.
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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. Reports say the assailant claimed connections to the Islamic State (ISIS) terror 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.
The Associated Press contributed to this article