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23 Mar, 2018 10:59

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

The hostage-taker at the supermarket in southern France has claimed allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS) AFP cited the prosecutor’s office as saying. A police operation is underway in the area.

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

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

The man was shouting “Allahu Akbar” when he entered the supermarket, a witness told Europe 1. The perpetrator allegedly shouted that he was “an Islamic State soldier,” according to witnesses.

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

Local residents told the LCI TV channel that they saw many police and gendarmerie units deployed around the supermarket.

Responding to the incident, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe called the situation “very serious.” Interior Minister Gerard Collomb tweeted that he was heading to the scene of the incident.

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.

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