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Shoot-out after hostage siege inside French supermarket

An armed man was shot by police in a supermarket in northern France after he took a woman hostage on Thursday night, according to reports.

Shoot-out after hostage siege inside French supermarket
Police rushed to the scene in central Lille. Photo: Daily Motion/Screenshot
The hostage drama played out at around 8pm in a Monoprix supermarket in Lille, northern France, while the country is on high alert after recent terror attacks.
 
A shopper who was inside the supermarket at the time told the La Voix du Nord newspaper that an unmasked man had entered the store holding a pistol in the air.
 
The man, aged 19, is understood to have been attempting to rob the store. 
 
In panic, the fifteen or so customers inside grouped together and headed to a second floor of the supermarket. 
 
Someone was able to alert the police, who were quick to the scene. 
 
However, it was then that the gunman took a hostage, who was reported to be a woman, although Le Parisien wrote that it was “a young girl”. 
 
 
With the building surrounded by police, the man eventually turned his attention from the hostage and aimed his weapon towards the police, who promptly opened fire. 
 
A witness out on the street said they heard at least six shots.
 
“It was pretty unnerving to see – everyone was running down the streets,” the witness told La Voix du Nord. 
 
The shootout saw the gunman hit several times and knocked to the ground, where he was disarmed by police. 
 
He was then taken to hospital, where he is understood to be in a stable condition.
 
The man's motive remains unclear. The customers, including the hostage, all escaped without injury.
 
Although the siege was not related to terrorism it comes as France and especially its police force are on edge after the November 13th Paris attacks and several other incidents, including a recent attempt by a lone jihadist to attack a police station in the capital.
 

CRIME

French police seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis near Bordeaux

France’s Economy Minister has praised the work of Bordeaux law officers, after they seized more than 2.4 tonnes of cannabis resin with an estimated street value in excess of €19 million.

French police seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis near Bordeaux

Bruno Le Maire and Minister Delegate in charge of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal in a joint statement: “Once again, Customs distinguished itself with an exceptional seizure of cannabis, recalling its key role in the fight against drug trafficking. We congratulate the customs officers for their daily commitment to the protection of our fellow citizens.”

Two people were taken into custody after officers stopped a lorry from Spain on the A63, near the Saugnac-et-Muret toll area, just south of Bordeaux, on Monday.

According to Le Figaro, the drugs were hidden in side compartments of the lorry, and concealed by its stated load of wheat, and were discovered by a sniffer dog during the stop.

In total, 2,414.8kg of cannabis resin and 9.75kg of cannabis herb were intercepted by the Bordeaux brigade, with an estimated value of more than €19 million on the illicit market.

Since the end of July, 2022, Customs officials have seized nearly 73 tonnes of drugs, including 41.2 tonnes of cannabis.

The French drugs squad is now investigating to determine the point of origin of the drugs, as well as their destination and the crime network behind the smuggling attempt.

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