Two officers killed, prisoner escapes in attack on prison van in France

How common are prison escapes?


How common are prison escapes?

03:29

A manhunt was underway in France on Tuesday after two prison guards were killed and three others injured in an attack on a van carrying a convict who managed to escape during the massacre. 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 toll vehicles on the highway, allowing the prisoner to escape.

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

france-prison-from-escape.jpg
Police and other officials are seen at a highway toll booth in Val-de-Reuil, northern France, on 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 social media post 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 with 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 nickname La Mouche, or 'The Fly'.

The Associated Press quoted prosecutor Laure Beccuau as saying the suspect was also under investigation for an alleged kidnapping and a separate murder case in Marseille.

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

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

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