Manhunt Intensifies for Escaped Prisoner in Northern France

An “unprecedented” manhunt is underway in northern France for a prisoner who escaped during a deadly ambush. Mohamed Amra, known as “The Fly,” was being transported back to jail from a court in Normandy on Tuesday when his prison van was rammed by a car at a toll booth.

Subsequently, armed men opened fire on the van, resulting in the deaths of two officers and serious injuries to three others.

“All means are being used to find these criminals,” declared French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin described the attack as an act of “cold-blooded barbarity” on Wednesday. Approximately 450 gendarmes and police officers have been deployed in the Eure department of Normandy in an “unprecedented” search operation.

President Emmanuel Macron assured the nation that “everything is being done to find the perpetrators.”

In response, French prison officer unions have called for walkouts at institutions nationwide on Wednesday to honor the two officers who were killed.

In a joint statement, the unions demanded urgent measures to enhance staff safety, including a “drastic reduction of extraditions” of prisoners to court hearings by promoting video conferencing and an “overhaul” of escort protocols.

A minute’s silence is scheduled for 11:00 (09:00 GMT) on Wednesday, and demonstrations have been reported outside French prisons, including in Paris, according to local media.

French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti has announced plans to meet with union representatives in response to the incident. During a press conference on Tuesday, Paris state prosecutor Laure Beccuau detailed the attack, which occurred just before 11:00 local time. The van transporting Mohamed Amra was ambushed at the Incarville toll barrier in the Eure region when a Peugeot vehicle rammed it from the front to stop it.

“Men armed with long guns exited the Peugeot, joined by others from an Audi vehicle that was likely following the prison van,” Beccuau explained.

The attackers “fired several times” at the prison van and another vehicle, resulting in the deaths and injuries of the officers. They then fled the scene, taking Amra with them.

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