France siege: Trebes supermarket hostage-taker who killed three shot dead by police - UPDATED

France siege: Trebes supermarket hostage-taker who killed three shot dead by police - <span style="color: red;">UPDATED
# 23 March 2018 15:58 (UTC +04:00)

​An armed supermarket hostage-taker who claimed allegiance to Islamic State has been shot dead by police after killing three people in attacks in southern France that are being treated as terrorism, according to The Telegraph.

The gunman - named as 26-year-old Redouane Lakdim, who was known to authorities for "petty crimes" - held up a car in Carcassonne on Friday morning and killed the driver, before opening fire on police and taking hostages in a supermarket in nearby Trebes.

The hostage-taker, who was killed in a police assault after around four hours, reportedly shouted Allahu Akbar as he burst into the Super U store. He is said to have demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, the prime suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks.

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16:17

A gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) fired shots and took hostages at a supermarket in Trebes in southwestern France on March 23, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

Security forces were responding to two separate incidents, one at a supermarket in the town of Trebes and the second, a 15-minute drive away, in the town of Carcassonne where a policeman was shot.

It was unclear if the two incidents were linked.

In Trebes, the man "entered the Super U supermarket at around 11.15 am and shots were heard," a security source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The gunman claimed allegiance to ISIL, the local prosecutor’s office said.

Local authorities tweeted that the area was off-limits to the public.

If the link to ISIL is confirmed, the attack would be the first major incident since the election of centrist President Emmanuel Macron in May last year.

The shootings come with France still on high alert after a string of jihadist attacks since 2015, starting in January that year with the assault on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead.

France also suffered major attacks in Paris in November 2015 when IS jihadists killed 130 people at bars, restaurants, the Bataclan concert venue and the national stadium.

In July 2016, in another attack claimed by IS, a man drove a truck through revelers celebrating Bastille Day, killing 84 people.

A state of emergency put in place just after the Paris attacks was finally lifted in October last year, but soldiers continue to patrol major tourist sites and transport hubs under an anti-terror mission.

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15:21

A policeman was shot and a man took hostages at a supermarket in two separate incidents in the same area of southwest France on Friday, security sources told AFP.

The policeman was shot in the town of Carcassonne, while a gunman fired shots during a hostage-taking Friday morning at a supermarket in the town of Trebes 15 minutes' drive away.

The man "entered the Super U supermarket at around 11.15 am and shots were heard," a source said of the Trebes incident. Local authorities tweeted that the area was out-of-bounds to the public.

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