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Monday 16 July 2018

French police arrest shooting suspect

Armed police patrol below the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Photo: Reuters
Armed police patrol below the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Photo: Reuters

FRENCH police have identified the man arrested for shooting a photographer and carrying out three other attacks.

Yesterday's arrest in a car park near Paris ended a two-day nationwide manhunt.

Interior minister Manuel Valls said the suspect was Abdelhakim Dekhar, convicted in 1998 as an accomplice in a 1994 robbery and car chase that left three police officers and a taxi driver dead. He served four years in prison.

Evidence

Based on DNA evidence, authorities believe Dekhar was the lone gunman behind Monday's shooting at the daily newspaper Liberation.

He is also suspected of carrying out a shooting outside French bank Societe Generale, a brief hostage-taking and a similar attack three days earlier at news network BFM-TV.

A spokeswoman for the French prosecutor's office said the suspect was arrested in an underground car park in Bois-Colombes, north of Paris.

Dekhar was found after a witness told police that a suspect resembling images broadcast on national TV had stayed at his house in recent days.

The gunman entered the lobby of Liberation at around 10am on Monday and opened fire.

A 23-year-old photographer, who works at the paper as a freelance assistant was in intensive care after being shot near the heart and in the arm.

Shots

Soon after the shooting at Liberation, three shots were fired in front of the headquarters of Societe Generale in the Paris suburb of La Defence. No one was hurt.

Less than an hour later, a man called police to say he had been taken hostage by a gunman in the town of Puteaux.

hnews@herald.ie

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