At least one person is dead after a gunman claiming allegiance to ISIS shot at riot police officers and took hostages at a supermarket in the south of France, according to reports.
The suspected terrorist, feared to be carrying explosives, was heard shouting “Vengeance for Syria!” before the rampage at two scenes in the neighbouring towns of Trebes and Carcassonne.
The drama unfolded when a police officer was shot and wounded while he was out for a job with colleagues in Carcassonne.
Shortly after 11am, about eight hostages were taken at a branch of Super U in Trebes – a 15-minute drive away – where a butcher was reportedly killed.
Trebes’ mayor has told French media that there are “two victims” inside the supermarket, which has been surrounded by heavily armed police.
A source in the town said: “A butcher in the U-Supermarket has been shot dead.
“The gunman was heard shouting slogans about the war in Syria. He says he is representing Islamic State.”
The phrase “Vengeance for Syria” were also heard by CRS riot police officers who were attacked by the suspect earlier while out jogging.
It was reported that grenades were spotted on the gunman, said to be in his 30s.
Local media were reporting that the officers jogging in Carcassonne were shot at by two people in a car.
Five shots were fired and one of the officers was shot and wounded in the shoulder.
He rushed to the nearest hospital. French investigators are treating it as terrorism.