Prime News, International (Paris), March 24:- A gunman was shot dead after killing at least two people in a hostage situation at a supermarket in a southern French town on Friday in what officials treated as “an act of terror”.
The incident unfolded in the morning at a Super U supermarket in Trebes town where the attacker opened fire and held several people hostage. Police stormed into the supermarket leading to a standoff that lasted about three hours, CNN reported.
Reports said the gunman, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terror group, killed two hostages before he was shot dead by the police. “The hostage-taker has been shot down,” Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said on his Twitter account.
Later in a press conference, Collomb identified the alleged assailant as a 26-year-old common criminal and small-time drug dealer.
Earlier in the day, the same man had shot at a group of police officers in the city of Carcassonne, injuring one.
The gunman, believed to be a Moroccan and reportedly known to French intelligence services, was said to be heavily armed and asked for the release of Salah Abdeslam, the key surviving suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks which killed 130 people.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that all information about the supermarket attack pointed to “an act of terror”. The Paris prosecutor’s office said it was opening an investigation into a “terrorist act”, as well as murder and attempted murder. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).