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23 Mar, 2018 10:45

Shooting & hostage-taking at supermarket in south France, police op underway

Shooting and hostage-taking at a supermarket has been reported in southern France, local media say. Police have confirmed that the operation is underway.

UPDATE: French Prime Minister says hostage-taking incident appears to be ‘terrorist act’

The incident took place in the town of Trebes in the south of the country, the French Interior Ministry said on Twitter.

At least two people were injured inside the supermarket, Mayor of Trebes Eric Menassi told BFMTV, calling the situation “a terrible drama.”

The hostage-taker has claimed allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS) AFP cited the prosecutor’s office as saying. 

READ MORE: Supermarket hostage-taker in southwestern France claims allegiance to ISIS – local media

The man was shouting “Allahu Akbar” when he entered the supermarket, a witness told Europe 1. According to an AFP source, an unidentified man entered the supermarket at about 11:00 local time. Shots were then heard in the area.

Minutes before the hostage situation began in the supermarket, a police officer was shot by a gunman while jogging in nearby Carcassonne commune, AFP reported. The shooter opened fire from his car. It is unclear whether the two incidents are connected.