Saturday 23 September 2017

Police officers hurt in shooting during arrest on French island of Reunion

The officers' injuries are not life-threatening
The officers' injuries are not life-threatening

Two police officers have been shot and wounded on the French island of Reunion during the arrest of a man suspected of links to radical Islam.

Police managed to detain the man and his mother, and found weapons and material for making explosives in their apartment in the town of Saint Benoit de la Reunion.

The two officers, from a special national police intervention force, were taken to hospital with light injuries.

The arrested man was wanted for "glorifying terrorism," the French interior ministry said.

Anti-terrorism prosecutors have taken over the investigation because the man was suspected of links to radical Islam, according to Paris prosecutor's office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre.

The man appeared to be acting alone, according to a local Reunion official.

The shooting came a week after a police officer was killed in Paris in an attack claimed by Islamic State, which shook up France's presidential election campaign.

The country is under a state of emergency after multiple Islamic extremist attacks. Extremists have notably targeted French security forces.

One of France's biggest overseas territories and located east of Madagascar, Reunion is an ethnically diverse island with a mix of religions at the crossroads of historic sea trading routes between Africa, Asia and the Arab world.

French presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron, an independent centrist, and far-right leader Marine Le Pen have both visited the island during the campaign. They will contest a tense run-off election on May 7.

Press Association

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