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  • Writer's pictureTom Clinton | Aificial Editor Chief

2 officers killed, inmate escapes in attack on prison van in France

 

A manhunt was underway in France on Tuesday after two prison officers were killed and three others injured in an attack on a van that was carrying a convict who managed to escape amid the carnage. In a statement to reporters, French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti said the convoy was transporting a prisoner from a courthouse to a prison in the northern city of Rouen when it was attacked by assailants armed with "heavy weapons."


According to French news agency AFP, the vehicle was rammed by vehicles at a highway toll, allowing the prisoner to escape.


"All means are being used to find these criminals," Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said in a statement. "On my instructions, several hundred police officers and gendarmes were mobilized."


Police and other officials are seen near a toll booth on a highway in Val-de-Reuil, northern France, May 14, 2024, where heavily armed assailants attacked a prison van carrying a convicted burglar, allowing him to escape.REUTERS/BFM-TV

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a message posted on social media that "everything is being done to find the perpetrators of this crime so that justice can be done in the name of the French people."


"The nation stands alongside the families, the injured and their colleagues," Macron added.


The prisoner was identified by French media as convicted burglar Mohamed Amra, who goes by the nicknamed La Mouche, or "The Fly."


2 officers killed, inmate escapes in attack on prison van in France

The Associated Press cited public prosecutor Laure Beccuau as saying the suspect is also being investigated for an alleged kidnapping and a separate homicide case in Marseille.


Pictures from the scene of the ambush showed a forensic tent set up around several vehicles alongside a significant police presence.


Beccuau said the brazen attack on the jail convoy was being treated as likely organized crime, and that a murder investigation was underway.  


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