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CRIME

Gunman on the run in Dordogne after firing at Gendarmes

A manhunt was underway on Sunday in the Dordogne département of south western France after a heavily-armed man opened fire on gendarmes.

Gunman on the run in Dordogne after firing at Gendarmes
A helicopter of the French gendarmerie during the manhunt. Photo: CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP

The armed man, a former soldier, had been involved in a family row in the village of Lardin-Saint-Lazare, after which he shot at gendarmes, before fleeing the scene.

According to BFMTV the man had entered his ex-partner’s home between Saturday night and Sunday morning, and attacked her new partner. The young woman, who lived in the house, then fled the scene, but was chased by her former partner.

The suspect, aged in his 30s, wandered through the streets of the village and shot at the gendarmes who had been called to the scene.

Two vehicles were damaged.

The man was thought to be hiding out in a nearby forest. Some 210 gendarmes, including members of the Dordogne gendarmerie group as well as the GIGN and a local negotiator, were deployed, as well as four helicopters.

General André Pétillot told BFMTV: “Our objective is to get him to surrender, but it is an extreme situation. He shot at the officers numerous times, but so far no one has been wounded. He is carrying a large hunting weapon of a caliber large enough to kill”. 

Mayor of Lardin-Saint-Lazare, Francine Bourra also told BFMTV: “The suspect is not at all inclined to enter into dialogue and is not ready to surrender. I believe that unfortunately, it will last a long time”. 

According to BFMTV, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has been following the gendarmes operations very closely.

Darmanin said “the suspect appears to be very determined” but that the gendarmerie “would deploy all necessary means” to catch the suspect.

Already known to the police for domestic violence, the suspect had been prohibited from approaching the home of his former partner.

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CRIME

Hackers post French hospital patient data online

Hackers who crippled a French hospital and stole a trove of data last month have released personal records of patients online, officials have confirmed.

Hackers post French hospital patient data online

The cyberattackers demanded a multimillion dollar ransom from the Corbeil-Essonnes hospital near Paris a month ago, but the institution refused to pay.

The hospital said the hackers had now dumped medical scans and lab analyses along with the social security numbers of patients.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the unspeakable disclosure of hacked data,” health minister François Braun tweeted on Sunday.

Hospitals around the world have been facing increasing attacks from ransomware groups, particularly since the pandemic stretched resources to breaking point.

The problem has been acute in France, where officials estimated early last year that healthcare institutions were facing on average an attack every week.

President Emmanuel Macron last year called the attacks during the pandemic a “crisis within a crisis” and announced an extra one billion euros for cybersecurity.

During last month’s attack, the Corbeil-Essonnes hospital shut down its emergency services and sent many patients to other institutions.

At one point, officials said the only technology still working was the telephone.

Rather than selling the trove of data, the hacker has dumped at least some of it for download on the “dark web” — a hidden part of the internet that requires special software to access.

Analysts said it seemed to be a tactic to put pressure on the hospital, even though public institutions are banned by French law from paying ransoms.

Cybersecurity researcher Damien Bancal, who revealed the leak and has seen the files, told AFP the worry is that other criminals will now launch scams with the data that has already been divulged.

In response to the leak on the weekend, the hospital severely restricted access to its systems and told patients to be extremely vigilant when receiving emails, text messages or phone calls.

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