THE INDEPENDENT – Gunmen have shot at police and taken hostage in a small town in the south of France, according to local reports.
French Interior Ministry said on Twitter on Friday that security officials were carrying out an operation at a supermarket in town of Trebes in southern France.
But authorities gave no further details on media reports that a hostage situation was ongoing.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said counterterrorism investigators are taking over the probe into the ongoing incident Friday in the town of Trebes, but did not provide details on why.
There are unconfirmed media reports that the assailant claimed connections to the Islamic State group.
Interior Minister spokesman Frederic Delanouvelle told The Associated Press that there is one suspect and police are trying to subdue him. He provided no details of how many people were inside the supermarket or were believed held hostage.
The man taking hostages inside of the supermarket is reported to have shouted “in revenge for Syria” as the attack began, according to local reports.
Two people have been killed in the attack. That includes the butcher in the supermarket, the mayor has said.
A team of France’s elite GIGN forces, its equivalent of SWAT teams, are on their way to Trebes from Toulouse, according to the local l’Independant.
French prosecutors are treating the hostage situation as a terror incident, according to local reports.
There’s some confusion about the connection to Isis. Initial reports had said that Isis had claimed responsibility for the attack – but that is wrong, and hasn’t yet happened. In fact, the new reports suggest only that the man holding hostages has given his allegiance to the group.
A man holding hostages in a supermarket in southwestern France has claimed allegiance to Islamic State, BFM TV said.
A suspect has been surrounded at a supermarket in the town of Trebes, south of Toulouse, and might have taken hostages, national police said.
The French Interior Ministry said on its Twitter account Friday that police and rescue operations are the priority.
Authorities in the Aude region are warning people to avoid the area around the supermarket.
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