Three people have been killed and about a dozen others injured after an armed man took hostages in a supermarket in southern France on Friday. According to authorities, the armed man was shot to death after French police stormed the market.
The attacker fired six shots at police officers as they were on their way back from a morning jog near the city of Carcassonne on Friday. Though the police were not in their traditional uniform, they were wearing athletic clothes with police insignia. One police officer was shot in the shoulder, but was not seriously injured.
The suspect then went to a Super U supermarket in the nearby small town of Trebes, taking an unknown number of hostages.
An hours-long standoff ensued as special police units arrived on the scene and authorities blocked roads and urged residents to stay away.
Police then stormed the supermarket and killed the attacker. It was confirmed that three other people were killed, but it is unclear overall how many victims there are.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said counterterrorism investigators were taking over the probe but did not explain why.
The attacker was later identified as Redouane Lakdim, 26, a small-time drug dealer and petty criminal who was radicalized and under police surveillance. Lakdim requested the release of the sole surviving assailant of Nov. 13, 2015, attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead during the standoff with police. Unconfirmed media reports claim that the attacker claimed connections to the Islamic State group.
Since a string of Islamic extremist attacks in 2015 and 2016, France has been on high alert, and this has been the first terrorist attack since French President Emmanuel Macron became president in May.
Macron said the attack poses a new challenge to his leadership as he also faces nationwide strikes and criticism of his reforms.