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France prison van attack: Nationwide manhunt enters second day after inmate ‘The Fly’ escapes in ambush

CCTV shows gunmen ramming French prison van and killing guards to free drug dealer

The nationwide manhunt for the suspected drug boss nicknamed ‘The Fly’ has entered its second day after the inmate escaped from a prison van that was ambushed by four gunmen in northern France.

Mohamed Amra, 30, was being transported from a court hearing in Rouen to a secure jail in Evreux when the fatal attack unfolded shortly after 11am on Tuesday on the A154 motorway in Val-de-Reuil in Normandy.

Two prison officers were killed, one of whom left behind a five-month pregnant wife, while three more guards were seriously injured.

The escaped prisoner fled alongside the attackers in two vehicles, which were abandoned and found burned a short while later.

A police source told Le Parisien that Amra is the head of a narcotics network, and had been jailed for 18 months last week for a series of burglaries.

Hundreds of police officers and gendarmes had been mobilised, with President Emmanuel Macron vowing that everything was being done to find the perpetrators.

Footage from the scene near the commune of Incarville appeared to show a hooded attacker in all black firing an assault rifle at the prisoner convoy. One of the attackers was injured in retaliatory fire, a prison officer union boss said.

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Prison officers ‘slaughtered like dogs’ in France named

Two prison officers who were “slaughtered like dogs” in a murderous attack on a police convoy in France were today named for the first time as the hunt for their killers continued.

Fabrice Moello, a 52-year-old father of two, and Arnaud Garcia, a 35-year-old whose wife was five months pregnant, were riddled with machine gun fire on Tuesday morning.

They were part of a convoy bringing Mohammed Amra – a suspected drugs lord nicknamed ‘The Fly’ who is 30 – back to his cell from a court appearance in the Normandy capital of Rouen.

By Wednesday morning, he was still on the run with four other men responsible for the bloodbath at a motorway toll booth close to the town of Val-de-Reuil.

Releasing horrific new details of the killings, French justice minister Éric Dupond-Moretti, said Mr Moello and Mr Garcia – who both came from Caen – were “slaughtered like dogs by men for whom life means nothing”. Surveillance cameras captured the chilling executions, which included automatic weapons firing more than 30 rounds.

At one point a member of the gang – who were all wearing black sports apparel with their hoods up – made sure a victim was dead with a ‘double tap’ shot to the head.

Some officers managed to grab their service pistols, but they were no match for the gang’s immense firepower.

Three wounded officers remain in intensive care, one with a bullet in the forehead, said Mr Dupond-Moretti.

Tara Cobham15 May 2024 08:13

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Everything we know about ‘drug boss’ inmate on the run after armed ambush

Two prison officers were shot dead while three others were seriously injured during the shooting, which occurred in broad daylight on a motorway around an hour from Paris. Named as Mohammed Amra, 30, he is understood to be the boss of a narcotics network who is known by the nickname “La Mouche”, which translates to “The Fly”.

Dramatic footage from the scene shows men wearing black sports clothes using automatic machine pistols, while horrified motorists look on.

Tara Cobham15 May 2024 08:00

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Prison unions in France call for ‘blockade’ of prisons in support of two dead officers

Prison unions in France have reportedly announced a “blockade” of prisons and other facilities on Wednesday in support of the two officers who were killed.

“This day must be a ‘dead prisons’ day and may be renewed,” the inter-union group stated in a press release. They are calling for a meeting with the Minister of Justice and his departments to address a series of demands too.

Previous union “blockades” have seen striking prison guards place their picket lines across the entrances to facilities, attempting to block all access. There were major national prison blockades in 2018 after a spate of attacks on guards.

Meanwhile, the French police is still hunting for a group of gunmen who killed two prison officers in an attack at a motorway toll, freeing a convict, 30-year-old Amra, connected to gangland drug killings.

French president Emmanuel Macron wrote on X that “everything is being done to find the perpetrators”.

Maroosha Muzaffar15 May 2024 07:30

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Images show moment black vehicles ram prison van

Video footage has been shared on the BBC of the moment a black vehicle rams a prison van carrying inmate Mohamed Amra, which resulted in the deaths of two prison officers.

Other images shared on social media showed hooded gunmen approaching the vehicle carrying automatic machine pistols.

Holly Evans15 May 2024 07:00

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ICYMI: France prison van attack: Two officers killed and inmate ‘The Fly’ on the run after ambush

A suspected drugs boss nicknamed “The Fly” escaped when masked gunmen ambushed his prison van in northern France in a brazen attack that left two guards dead.

The horror unfolded at a motorway tollbooth at Incarville, near the town of Val-de-Reuil in Normandy, at around 9am local time on Tuesday.

Two officers were shot dead and three others were left seriously injured while the prisoner, named by French media as Mohamed Amra, ran free.

Shocking footage showed the hooded attackers firing automatic machine guns at the prison van, that had been stopped by a black car ploughing into its front.

As the gunmen surrounded the vehicle, another video captured one of them opening a door before the detainee was released in full view of shocked motorists.

Read the full piece here:

Maroosha Muzaffar15 May 2024 06:30

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Emergency services attend deadly police van ambush as prisoner escapes in France

Emergency services attend deadly police van ambush as prisoner escapes in France

Holly Evans15 May 2024 06:00

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Amra not a ‘big fish’ but a ‘middle-of-the-road’ player, police sources tell Le Monde

Mohamed Amra was described as a “middle-of-the-road, freelance, opportunistic” criminal rather than a “big fish”, according to police and judicial sources cited by France’s Le Monde.

Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau confirmed at a press conference that Amra’s most recent sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment was given on 7 May by the Evreux criminal court for aggravated theft. Before that, on 14 April 2020, he was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment for motorised rodeos by the same court.

Amra, 30, was being transported from a court hearing in Rouen to a secure jail in Evreux when the fatal attack on prison officers unfolded, shortly after 11am, on the A154 motorway in Val-de-Reuil in Normandy.

Maroosha Muzaffar15 May 2024 05:30

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Mohamed Amra’s lawyer says he was ‘perfectly normal’ during morning meeting

The lawyer of Mohamed Amra, Hugues Vigier, has been interviewed live on French news channel BFMTV and described the incident as “unimaginable”.

“I’m utterly shocked by what happened this morning,” he said.

“This violence is unimaginable. My assistant saw Mr Amra this morning. A short meeting, about an hour long was planned for this morning and my assistant saw Mr Amra and he was perfectly normal.

“I would like to believe that he didn’t know about the plan to free him. That would not change the tragedy that took place but as lawyer I want to believe he didn’t plan this escape.

“For me this plan doesn’t match with what I know of him. If he’s behind it then I failed to understand who he is.

“He knew about today’s transfer so it is possible that he’d have told other people.

“If he’s behind today’s escape he’s a much bigger criminal that what’s he’s been convicted for until now.”

Holly Evans15 May 2024 05:00

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Prison unions in France call for ‘blockade’ of prisons in support of two dead officers

Prison unions in France have reportedly announced a “blockade” of prisons and other facilities on Wednesday in support of the two officers who were killed.

“This day must be a ‘dead prisons’ day and may be renewed,” the inter-union group stated in a press release. They are calling for a meeting with the Minister of Justice and his departments to address a series of demands too.

Previous union “blockades” have seen striking prison guards place their picket lines across the entrances to facilities, attempting to block all access. There were major national prison blockades in 2018 after a spate of attacks on guards.

Meanwhile, the French police is still hunting for a group of gunmen who killed two prison officers in an attack at a motorway toll, freeing a convict, 30-year-old Amra, connected to gangland drug killings.

French president Emmanuel Macron wrote on X that “everything is being done to find the perpetrators”.

Maroosha Muzaffar15 May 2024 04:49

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Everything we know about The Fly: ‘Drug boss’ inmate on the run after two French prison officers shot dead

Two prison officers were shot dead while three others were seriously injured during the shooting, which occurred in broad daylight on a motorway around an hour from Paris. Named as Mohammed Amra, 30, he is understood to be the boss of a narcotics network who is known by the nickname “La Mouche”, which translates to “The Fly”.

Dramatic footage from the scene shows men wearing black sports clothes using automatic machine pistols, while horrified motorists look on.

The group then escaped with a large-scale nationwide manhunt ongoing. President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to find the perpetrators of the ambush, which has left a number other prison officers fighting for life.

Read the full piece here:

Maroosha Muzaffar15 May 2024 04:30


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