An original translation from Die Welt:
An alleged Islamist killed three people in Southern France.
- First, he fired at police officers who were just working out. Then he took several hostages in a supermarket
- After several hours, police forces shot the man dead
Alarm at Southern France police: on Friday, an alleged member of the Jihadi Militia Islamic State (IS) killed a total of three people in the Département Aude. After several hours, police forces managed to kill him in Trèbes.
The situation is still unclear. However, the perpetrator appears to be a notorious Islamist. As reported by the radio station France Info, the man was already known to the intelligence services, and in a data base to fight terrorism and radicalization. He reportedly was under surveillance. According to the newspaper „La Dépêche du Midi“, the man was a Moroccan aged between 30 and 40.
The first incident took place in the city of Carcassonne. As „Le Monde“ report, between 9:30 and 10 AM, an unknown person opened fire at four officers who were just returning from running. One of them was injured in the shoulder, but his condition is not critical.
Then, the man stole a car, killing the passenger and wounding the driver. Upon that, he drove to the nearby town of Trèbes. An eye-witness said that the perpetrator shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) [translator’s note: this common translation is not quite correct, it means “Allah is greater” or “is greatest”) when he assaulted the local supermarket “Super U“ market at 11:15 AM. He was armed with knives, a shotgun and hand grenades.
According to police, the supermarket’s butcher was lethally shot. The identity of the third victim yet remains to be clarified. According to the Interior Ministry, three more people are wounded. Among them is one police officer, who was held as the sole hostage in the end.
In the afternoon, around 3 PM, a special Gendarmerie force stormed the supermarket and shot dead the hostage taker.
Macron calls it an act of terror
The anti terror unit of the Paris Prosecution took over investigations. The authority annoucnes that they opened an investigation for murder and attempted murder in connection with terrorism.
President Emmanuel Macron, who was participating in the EU summit in Brussels, said during the hostage situation that everything indicated it was an act of terrorism. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe made an according statement and spoke of a “serious situation“.
France has repeatedly been the target of Islamist attacks. Especially the attacks of Paris in 2015, and Nice in 2016, shook the country to the core. In Paris alone, 130 people were killed. Lately, two women were killed in an attack in Marseille on October 1.
Authorities speak of a continued high terror risk. Interior Minister Collomb reported in late February that since New Year, two attacks on a sports venue, and on military, had been foiled.