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France: Two French prison officers died in inmate flight

France: Two French prison officers died in inmate flight

France: Two French prison officers died in inmate flight

France: Two French prison officers died in inmate flight

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  • Gunmen attacked a prison van at a motorway toll in northern France, killing at least two officers and freeing a convict.
  • President Emmanuel Macron pledged to find the perpetrators, with hundreds of security forces deployed for a manhunt.
  • The inmate was being transported between Rouen and Evreux in Normandy.
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Gunmen attacked a prison van at a motorway toll in northern France on Tuesday, killing at least two prison officers and freeing a convict who had been jailed last week. President Emmanuel Macron vowed that everything would be done to find those behind the attack as hundreds of members of the security forces deployed for a manhunt to locate the attackers and the inmate, who were all still at large.

Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau stated in a statement that two prison officers were killed in the attack, and two others are receiving urgent medical care. The incident occurred late morning at a road toll in Incarville in the Eure region of northern France, added a source close to the case.

The inmate was being transported between the towns of Rouen and Evreux in Normandy. According to a police source, several individuals, arriving in two vehicles, rammed the police van and then fled.

The police source stated that one of them was wounded. It was not immediately clear how many attackers there were in total. “Everything is being done to find the perpetrators of this crime,” Macron wrote on X.

“We will be uncompromising,” he added, describing the attack as a “shock”. Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti promptly headed to a crisis cell at his ministry.

“These are people for whom life counts for nothing. They will be arrested, judged, and punished according to the crime they committed,” he said.

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He added that both the officers killed were men and they were the first prison officers to be killed in the line of duty since 1992. He mentioned that one was married and had two children while the other “left a wife five months pregnant”.

“I am frozen with horror at the veritable carnage that took place at the Incarville toll,” said Alexandre Rassaert, the head of the Eure region council.

“I hope with all my heart that the team of killers who carried out this bloody attack will be arrested quickly.”

A unit of the GIGN elite police force has been dispatched to apprehend the suspects.

Traffic authorities stopped traffic on the A154 motorway where the incident took place.

On X, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin wrote that he had ordered the activation of France’s Epervier plan, a special operation launched by the gendarmerie in such situations.

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“All means are being used to find these criminals. On my instructions, several hundred police officers and gendarmes were mobilized,” he said.

Prosecutor Beccuau named the inmate as Mohamed Amra, born in 1994, stating that last week he had been convicted of aggravated robbery and also charged in a case of abduction leading to death.

Prosecutors from France’s Office for the Fight against Organized Crime, known by their acronym JUNALCO, have been assigned the case.

The incident sparked fierce reactions from politicians, especially the far right, as law and order becomes a major issue in French politics ahead of next month’s European elections.

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