A gunman is believed to have killed at least one person during a hostage-taking at a supermarket in Trèbes, southern France.
Elite police have rushed to the Super U shop, and there are unconfirmed reports of another death.
A prosecutor says the gunman, who remains in the supermarket, claims to be in the Islamic State group.
Earlier, a policeman was shot and wounded while jogging with colleagues in Carcassonne, a 15-minute drive away,
He was not critically injured. It is unclear if the incidents are connected though media reports suggest they are.
A security source told French news agency AFP that most employees and customers at the supermarket “managed to flee”.
Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said the situation was “serious” and that all signs pointed towards a “terrorist act”.
The regional police chief said authorities believed one person had been killed at the supermarket. Other sources put the death toll at two.
Hundreds of police officers have been deployed to the area, and the vicinity has been cordoned off.
France has been hit with several deadly jihadist attacks since 2015 and has been on high alert since. A state of emergency put in place after attacks in Paris in November 2015 that killed 130 people was lifted in October.
Major terror attacks in France
- 1 Oct 2017 – Two women stabbed to death at Marseille railway station; attack claimed by IS
- 26 Jul 2016 – Two attackers slit a priest’s throat at his church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy. They are shot dead by police
- 14 Jul 2016 – A huge lorry mows down a crowd of people on the Nice beachfront during Bastille Day celebrations, killing 86. IS claims the attack – by a Tunisian-born driver, later shot dead by police
- 13 Jun 2016 – A police officer and his partner are stabbed to death at home by a jihadist, in Magnanville, west of Paris. He declares allegiance to IS, and police later kill him
- 13 Nov 2015 – IS jihadists armed with bombs and assault rifles attack Paris, targeting the national stadium, cafes and Bataclan concert hall. The co-ordinated assault leaves 130 people dead, and more than 350 wounded
- 7-9 Jan 2015 – Two Islamist gunmen storm the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 17 people. Another Islamist militant kills a policewoman the next day and takes hostages at a Jewish supermarket in Paris. Four hostages are killed before police shoot the gunman dead. The other two gunmen are cornered and killed by police in a siege.
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