Police have responded to a hostage situation in Trebes, France in what local authorities are calling an ”
ISIS-inspired” attack on a supermarket. Local police are treating the situation as a terror attack with over 100 officers deployed to the supermarket and the area blocked off from the public. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has confirmed that French authorities are investigating the situation as a terror attack.
Elite police have responded to the hostage situation in Trebes. The operation is ongoing, but the shooter is believed to be dead and all hostages freed. Reports indicate that French Intelligence is aware of the shooter. The shooter’s mother is on the scene of the hostage situation.
Early Friday morning two people were killed and others were taken hostage at a U Supermarket in Trebes, France. Local reports indicate most people were able to flee the supermarket when the gunman entered. A source told AFP the suspect “entered the Super U supermarket at around 11:15 am and shots were heard.” Some reports claim a dozen have been injured in the hostage taking situation in Trebes. One is said to be in critical condition.
All remaining hostages were freed after police came to the scene, leaving one police officer alone with the shooter. Police officials have announced that the hostage taker has been shot dead by police.
Local sources say the hostage taker in Trebes claimed allegiance to the Islamic State and shouted Allahu Akbar, meaning “God is great,” in Arabic.
In another French town just a 15 minute drive away, the suspect shot a police officer in the shoulder this morning. Four police officers were jogging together when they came under fire from the suspect.
Words from Officials
Yves Lefebvre, a police union official, confirmed the shooter has been killed by police.
Prime Minister Philippe told reporters just shortly before, “The hostage situation is ongoing. The operation is not over. All the information we have as I speak lead us to think that this would be a terrorist act.”
French President Emmanuel Macron is currently in Brussels. After a planned speaking engagement he has said he will return to Paris in the coming hours and will not reveal any details about the victims.
Counter-terrorism prosecutors will be taking over the investigation.
What Did the Shooter Want?
Hostage takers usually issue demands after taking their hostages.
Reports have claimed the hostage taker was demanding the release of Salah Abdeslam. Abdeslam is standing trial in Belgium for masterminded the 2015 Paris attacks, which claimed the lives of 130 innocent victims. The 2015 attacks are the deadliest in the history of modern France. Abdeslam is the only surviving suspect. He is standing trial in Brussels over a subsequent shootout. It is not anticipated that he will stand trial in France before 2020. The hostage taker has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
Recent Terror Attacks in France
Since 2015, France has seen hundreds of citizens perish in terror attacks, including anti-Semitic attacks. Between 2015-2017 there had been 26 terror attacks in France.
In addition to today’s Trebes, France hostage situation, here are a few of the major terror attacks in France in the past few years:
- January 7-9 2015
The headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine are attacked by two gunman. The Islamist militants who were also brothers swore allegiance to al-Qaeda. Later, the brothers were killed in a police siege. The next day, a close friend of the brothers took hostages at a Kosher grocery store, killing four hostages before being shot by police. Before being killed he swore allegiance to the Islamic State and claimed to have coordinated the attack with the Charlie Hebdo shooters.
- August 21, 2015
A planned mass shooting on a train between Paris and Amsterdam was thwarted after passengers resisted. Three American friends, two of whom were off duty U.S. Armed Forces members subdued the attacker. After knocking the assailant unconscious and tying him up with a t-shirt, they swept the entire train for more gunmen.
- November 13, 2015
ISIS militants attack the Bataclan concert hall, national stadium, and cafes in a coordinated series of terror attacks. The Jihadist leave 130 dead and 350 wounded.
- July 14, 2016
The Bastille Day attack was carried out in Nice, France as people celebrate the French national holiday on the seaside. A large truck drove into a crowd of people leaving 86 dead and 434 wounded. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.
- July 26, 2016
In Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy, two attackers slit the throat of a priest as he is giving mass before being shot by police. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.
- September 4, 2016
A man who had written a book criticizing Jihad and his son were attacked with blows to the head and body. The author now requires constant police protection to avoid future attacks.
- February 3, 2017
A man shouting Allahu Akbar attempted to enter the Louvre Museum with a machete. He was shot dead by a soldier before being able to enter.
- April 20, 2017
A man stabbed two and shot a police officer on the iconic Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, killing all three. After he was killed by police, police found a note on his person giving praise to the Islamic State.
- June 6, 2017
Many terror attacks in France tend to target popular tourist attractions and monuments of French culture. In June 2017, a man claiming allegiance to the Islamic State attacked a police officer in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
- October 1, 2017
Two women were stabbed to death at the main train station in Marseille in Provence. Police later killed the attacker, Ahmed Hanachi. The attack was claimed by ISIS.
After the November 2017 attack, France declared a state of emergency addressed specifically at terror attacks. Thousands of homes were raided and hundreds of weapons seized during the post-terror state of emergency. Muslim rights groups claimed the raids unfairly targeted the Muslim population. The state of emergency expired November 1, 2017 after four extensions, but French citizens have remained on edge.