Ambush on prison van near Rouen, Normandy results in deaths and injuries

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Two French prison officers were killed and three others were seriously injured in an ambush on a prison van near Rouen, Normandy, on Tuesday, May 14. According to French media, the ambush occurred while the van was transporting an inmate, who managed to escape with the attackers. France’s Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti has convened the Justice Ministry’s crisis unit in response to the incident.

Details of the Incident

The ambush took place at around 11:00 (09:00 GMT) near a toll booth on the A154 motorway, which has since been closed in both directions. The inmate was being taken back to Évreux jail after a court hearing in Rouen when the convoy was intercepted by attackers traveling in two vehicles. The attackers, reportedly hooded gunmen, managed to free the inmate and fled the scene. One of their vehicles was later found burned out nearby.

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Government Response

French President Emmanuel Macron assured the public on X that all efforts were being made to apprehend the culprits. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced that hundreds of police officers and gendarmes had been deployed in the manhunt. BFMTV reported that images circulating on social media show the dramatic ambush, with hooded gunmen approaching the prison convoy.

Two French prison officers killed in ambush near Rouen; inmate escapes with attackers. Massive manhunt underway.

Two French prison officers killed in ambush near Rouen; inmate escapes with attackers. Massive manhunt underway.

Union Reaction and Rising Crime Concerns

Axel Ronde, a spokesperson for the CFTC Police union, described the ambush as a “real commando” attack on the convoy of prison administration staff. “One of the perpetrators was injured by return fire. Fraternal support for all prison administration staff in the face of this killing!” he posted on X.

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The incident highlights the increasing violence linked to drug-related crime in France. Marseille, in particular, has seen a surge in gang violence due to an influx of cocaine and conflicts between trafficking clans.

The ambush near Rouen underscores the growing security challenges faced by French authorities amidst rising crime rates. The swift response from law enforcement and government officials reflects the severity of the situation and the urgent need to address such violent incidents.

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