Paris: The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the shooting and hostage-taking in southern France on Friday , saying the attack was carried by one of its “soldiers.”
The IS-linked Aamaq news agency quoted a security official as saying that “a soldier of the Islamic State” carried out the attack in response to calls to target “countries of the coalition.”
It was referring to the U.S.-led coalition that has been carrying out airstrikes against IS in Syria and Iraq since 2014. France is part of that coalition.
As per reports, the gunman had taken an unknown number of hostages before opening fire.
He hijacked a car, killed its driver and attempted to mow down four police officers while opening fire at them. One policeman got injured in the incident while he was jogging at a park.
He later drove the car to the supermarket and immediately opened fire upon people, killing two before taking several others as hostages.
It took three hours to bring the situation under control when the police shot dead the gunman in a cross firing.
The France interior ministry named the deceased gunman as Redouane Lakdim, 26 a resident of Carcassonne.
Later, French President Emmanuel Macron, while speaking at a European Union summit said the incidents were ‘terrorists’ in nature and added that he would soon return to Paris to take an action upon it.