Two police officers are shot dead in the assault on a van to free a prisoner in France

In an operation almost typical of a war, four individuals armed with automatic weapons attacked a prison van in northern France, killed two officers, injured three others – two of them extremely seriously – and took away the prisoner who was traveling in the vehicle.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 04:22
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Two police officers are shot dead in the assault on a van to free a prisoner in France

In an operation almost typical of a war, four individuals armed with automatic weapons attacked a prison van in northern France, killed two officers, injured three others – two of them extremely seriously – and took away the prisoner who was traveling in the vehicle.

The events occurred at a tollbooth south of Rouen (Normandy), a hundred kilometers from Paris. The assailants, aboard a Peugeot going in the opposite direction, crashed into the nose of the van, to stop it, at the exit of the toll.

It is obvious that they were informed of the movement of the prison convoy. Immediately the men, dressed in black and hooded, began shooting. The scene lasted just two minutes and was partially filmed from a nearby bus.

The prisoner, Mohamed Amra, 30, nicknamed The Fly, was able to leave. He is a criminal from the Marseille area, related to drug trafficking, convicted of robbery and with pending cases for kidnapping and homicide. His lawyer, Hugues Vigier, said on television that he was not sure if the assault was to free his client or to settle scores. This Tuesday he had a court hearing.

The dismay at what happened was unanimous. The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, and the Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, reacted, promising to dedicate all resources to arresting the escapees and ensuring that they are punished.

The two far-right parties, the National Regrouping and Reconquista, spoke of France drifting towards “a narco-state”, trying to dramatize the situation and exploit it in the face of the European elections on June 9.