Two police officers attacked by terror suspect in French overseas territory
Two police officers have been shot in the French overseas territory of La Reunion by a man suspected of planning an Islamist terror attack.
The Paris prosecutor’s counter-terror wing has opened an investigation into the incident in Saint-Benoît.
“This morning, two policemen in La Reunion were wounded while arresting a dangerous individual,” a police spokesperson said.
“After responding to shots, the policemen managed to restrain the assailant.”
Local media reported that police raided the man’s house after monitoring him for several weeks over extremist online activity.
The suspect was said to be in his 20s and had recently converted to Islam.
Fearing he would act, a counter-terror squad entered his home at around 6am local time on Thursday (3am BST) but were faced with the suspect wielding a shotgun, L’Info reported.
In the ensuing gun battle, one police officer was shot in the arm and another in the hand, while the assailant was “neutralised”.
All three men have been taken to hospital in La Reunion, which sits east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, making it the farthest flung EU territory.
The shooting came just a week after a man murdered a police officer on Paris’ famous Champs-Elysees.
Karim Cheurfi, who had a note expressing support for Isis, emerged from his car with a Kalashnikov and opened fire on a parked police van.
Isis claimed responsibility for the attack, which followed Islamist massacres killing almost 240 people since the start of 2015.
Several plots have been foiled by the security services, including a planned bombing to coincide with the ongoing presidential election.
Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen has attempted to capitalise on fears of terror and immigration, while centrist frontrunner Emmanuel Macron has also put forward policies to improve security.