At least two French prison officers reported killed as inmate escapes van | France

In a violent confrontation, a prison transport in France was ambushed, resulting in the death of at least two guards and a prisoner escaping under chaotic circumstances.

According to a police spokesperson who spoke to Agence France-Presse, the assault left three officers dead and two injured, while another involved party mentioned the death of two officers and injuries to three more.

This violent episode unfolded around mid-morning at a toll station in Incarville, within France’s northern Eure department, as stated by another informed source.

The prisoner was being moved between Rouen and Evreux, located in the Normandy region.

Reportedly, a group of assailants driving two vehicles smashed into the prison van to free the inmate, succeeded in their mission, and then escaped the scene – with one attacker sustaining injuries in the process, revealed a police insider.

The exact number of attackers remains uncertain at the moment.

President Emmanuel Macron, deeply disturbed by the incident, vowed on X to leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of justice. “We will show no mercy,” he declared, expressing his utter shock over the event.

The country’s justice minister, Éric Dupond-Moretti, also acknowledged the brutal attack on the prison convoy and stated on X that he would join an emergency response team at his ministry.

The magnitude of this brutality at the Incarville toll stop left Alexandre Rassaert, head of the Eure region council, appalled. He conveyed his fervent wish for the swift arrest of the murderous squad responsible for this heinous act.

A squad from the elite GIGN police force has been deployed with the objective of capturing the suspects.

The incident also led to the A154 motorway being completely shut down to traffic.

Further action includes Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin activating the Epervier emergency plan, typically enacted by the gendarmerie in grave circumstances.

“Extensive resources have been utilized in the chase for these lawbreakers. I have ordered the mobilization of several hundred officers from the police and gendarmerie,” he assured.

Information from BFMTV, citing an investigation source, reported that the fugitive, a 30-year-old man, had been recently sentenced to an 18-month prison term for robberies committed in 2019 and was also facing murder charges for a 2022 drug-trafficking related homicide.

A person familiar with the matter revealed to AFP that the prisoner, identified as Mohamed A., was born in 1994.

With national safety a key concern in the political dialogue of France, especially with the upcoming European elections, the event triggered strong condemnation from several quarters, notably from right-wing factions.

Jordan Bardella, the National Rally’s lead candidate, forefront in the polls for the forthcoming elections, described the violence as “daily savagery” plaguing France.

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