Supermarket gunman shot dead by police

Gunman who killed three people and injured three more demanded the release of November 2015 terrorist Salah Abdeslam

A gunman who killed three people and injured three others in Trèbes, near Carcassonne, has been shot dead, Interior Minister Gérard Collomb has said.

Sources close to the investigation told French media that one of the injured victims was a 45-year-old gendarme who had voluntarily entered the supermarket in exchange for the release of one of the hostages.

A major operation was after an armed man had tried to run down four unarmed police officers who were out jogging in the historic city, then opened fire on the group, injuring one in the shoulder.

It is believed the same individual then drove to a Super U store in Trèbes, 15 minutes from the historic city, where he took eight hostages, shortly after 11am on Friday. A motor vehicle found in the car park of the store has been linked to the earlier shooting.

The gunman was shot dead at the store shortly after 2pm.

President Emmanuel Macron, in Brussels for an EU summit, said the incident appeared to be a terrorist attack.

The gunman was identified as a 25-year-old French-Moroccan national who was known to intelligence services. He had demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, the surviving suspect from the terror cell that orchestrated the November 2015 attacks in Paris, from a high security prison.

Earlier, the Aude préfecture has warned people to avoid the area which has been sealed off after a police officer was shot before hostages were taken at a supermarket.

A state of emergency declared shortly after the Paris attacks in November 2017 was lifted in October last year, but soldiers continue to patrol major tourist sites and transport hubs.

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