Gunman Redouane Lakdim shot dead after killing three in siege at French supermarket

Major police security operation follows reports hostage-taker pledged allegiance to Islamic State

Trebes supermarket
(Image credit: Twitter)

Armed police have shot and killed a suspect who took hostages at a supermarket in the southern France town of Trebes.

Police raided the Super U shop in Trebes early this afternoon and killed Redouane Lakdim, 26, “who is said to have himself killed three people near Carcassonne and claimed affiliation with Islamic State”, reports The Independent.

Lakdim “began his rampage by hijacking a car in Carcassonne on Friday morning, in which he killed a passenger and injured the driver”, says French news website The Local.

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“He then shot at a group of policeman, injuring one officer before driving to the supermarket, where he opened fire leaving two dead.”

In the picturesque medieval town of Trebes, the man “entered the Super U supermarket at around 11:15 am and shots were heard,” a source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

A witness who was in the supermarket at the time of the incident told France Info: “A man shouted and fired a number of times. I saw a fridge door, I asked people to come and get in. There were ten of us and we stayed there for an hour. There were more shots and we went out the back door. (...) He shouted 'Allahu...something', I did not see him.”

Visiting the scene, France’s interior minister Gerard Collomb said Lakdim was acting alone, and described him as a small-time drug dealer known to police who had been under surveillance, but insisted that nothing had indicated he was about to carry out this attack.

Describing the events on Friday, Collomb said the French security forces had acted quickly to evacuate some of the people inside the supermarket. “One gendarme offered to exchange himself for a woman hostage. The gunman agreed, and the gendarme stayed with him while others were evacuated,” reports The Guardian.

Later, when a shot was heard inside the store, Collomb said that security forces immediately intervened and shot the gunman dead. The policeman who had offered to take the place of a hostage was there until the end of the three hour ordeal and had been badly wounded. The interior minister praised him for his “heroism”.

During the ordeal Lakdim is said to have asked for the release of Salah Abdeslam, the most important surviving suspect in the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks, which killed 130 people.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, speaking at the EU summit in Brussels, said that everything suggested the incident was “terrorist” in nature and he would return to Paris to coordinate the response.

The EU offered its full support to the French people, the European commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said.

“France has again been hit by a cowardly and bloody act,” Juncker told reporters.

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