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Gunman Kills 3, Takes Hostages in Southern France Before Being Killed By Police

The man reportedly entered a grocery in Trebes yelling, “Allahu Akbar, I’ll kill you all.” Officials say the suspect was a petty criminal from a nearby city who had been under police surveillance

French law police and security forces gather outside the Super U supermarket in the town of Trebes in southern France. A man took hostages before he was killed by security forces on Friday.

Updated 11:42 a.m. ET

A man killed three people and wounded others in a supermarket in the town of Trebes in southern France, according to the French interior minister. Investigators believe he had also hijacked a car after leaving the nearby city of Carcassonne, killing one person in the vehicle.

A police union official told The Associated Press that the suspect was shot to death when police raided the market.

Reuters reports that Mayor Eric Menassi told LCI TV that the man had entered the grocery yelling, “Allahu Akbar, I’ll kill you all.”

Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said that a police officer offered himself in a hostage swap, and then managed to leave his cell phone on after he entered the supermarket and stayed with the suspect — which allowed for contact with officers outside, the AP reports. The interior minister praised the officer’s heroism and said he had been seriously injured, though he did not say how or when the injury had occurred.

The attack may be linked to an earlier incident in Carcassonne. Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said that the suspect earlier fired at police officers on Friday morning, The New York Times reports. The officers were returning from jogging and were wearing athletic clothing with police insignia, the AP reports. One of the officers was shot in the shoulder but the injury is not life-threatening, a police spokesman told the news service.

French gendarmes block a road to the town of Trebes, where a man took hostages at a supermarket on Friday in southern France.

Speaking at a press conference during an EU Summit in Brussels, French President Emmanuel Macron said that the incident appears to be a terror attack, after “what was first an attack against police officers.”

Collomb identified the suspect as 26-year-old Redouane Lakdim, describing him as a petty criminal from Carcassonne. Collomb said the suspect had radicalized and was under police surveillance, according to the AP.

“Collomb said Lakdim in the standoff requested the release of the sole surviving assailant of Nov. 13, 2015, attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead,” the AP reports.

Police officers, soldiers, security officers have been increasingly targeted in terrorist attacks in France, as Jake Cigainero reports for NPR:

“Last April, a policeman was shot and killed on the Champs-Elysée. Attacks over the last two years have included a police commander and his girlfriend murdered in their home, as well as attacks on soldiers patrolling at the Louvre, Notre Dame and Orly airport.”

Trebes is a usually sleepy town of about 5,500 in the Pyrenees near the Spanish border.

This is a breaking news story. As often happens in situations like these, some information reported early may turn out to be inaccurate. We’ll move quickly to correct the record and we’ll only point to the best information we have at the time.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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