Police have shot dead a gunman who killed two people and injured three others in a hostage-taking at a supermarket in the town of Trèbes, near Carcassonne in southern France, reported the Guardian.

Police union official Yves Lefebvre confirmed the suspect was shot dead by police.

A major counter-terrorism police operation took place in the town after the armed man earlier attempted to run down four police officers on their morning run near Carcassonne and then opened fire, injuring one officer in the shoulder.

The same individual, who local officials said had sworn allegiance to Islamic State, reportedly then drove to the supermarket in Trèbes, entered the store and took eight people hostage. The armed man entered the busy supermarket at about 11am local time.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, speaking at the EU summit in Brussels, said that everything suggested the incident was “terrorist” in nature and he would return to Paris to coordinate the response.

The hostage-taking in #Trèbes supermarket is the first major suspected terrorist incident since Macron lifted France’s two-year state of emergency last autumn and toughened anti-terror laws.

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