Police SWAT teams on Friday surrounded a supermarket in the town of Trebes, southern France, where at least one gunman is holding several people hostage.
The entire area is in lockdown, in what Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, in Paris, described as a “serious situation.”
Calling the situation a “terrible tragedy,” Trebes Mayor Eric Menassi told broadcaster BFMTV that at least two people had been killed inside the market. France’s interior minister tweeted that he was heading to the scene.
The gunman had earlier opened fire at four police officers jogging in the nearby town of Carcassonne, injuring at least one, according to French broadcaster BFMTV.
He fled by car and entered the Super U supermarket in the Aude department around 11 am local time (10:46 GMT).
The Interior Ministry tweeted: “Police intervention underway at Trebes in Aude. The priority is intervention of the police and rescue forces.”
The Aude prosecutor said the attacker claimed to be a “soldier of Daesh,” according to French radio Franceinfo.
Paris anti-terrorist prosecutors have opened a probe.