Wild Prison Van Ambush Sets Inmate Free and Kills 2 Officers

Le Parisien
Le Parisien

At least two prison officers were killed and three others seriously injured in an ambush on a prison van in northwestern France on Tuesday morning, officials say, with local reports suggesting that an inmate escaped during the attack.

The van was attacked at around 11 a.m. near a highway tollbooth in the Eure department of the Normandy region. French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti confirmed that at least two officers had been killed, adding that he would immediately convene his ministry’s crisis unit.

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According to BFMTV, the inmate who escaped had appeared in court on Tuesday morning on an attempted homicide charge and was being transferred back to a prison in the town of Évreux when the van was attacked by armed men.

Unverified video footage purportedly of the incident circulating on social media appears to show figures dressed in black wielding rifles. One of the vehicles in the prison convoy looks to have been hit by a black SUV, which is on fire in the clip. A red substance resembling blood appears to be on the ground next to the van.

Dupond-Moretti told reporters that one of the officers killed in the attack had a wife and two children. The other deceased officer is survived by a wife who is 5 months pregnant, Dupond-Moretti said, according to Le Parisien. The newspaper also cited a source claiming that the escaped inmate had previously tried to saw the bars of his cell and had been placed in solitary confinement.

“All means are being used to find these criminals,” Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin wrote on X. “On my instructions, several hundred police officers and gendarmes were mobilized.”

French President Emmanuel Macron described the attack as “a shock to us all.” “The Nation stands alongside the families, the injured and their colleagues,” he said in a statement. “Everything is being done to find the perpetrators of this crime so that justice can be done in the name of the French people. We will be intractable.”

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