French police launch manhunt over Paris shootings

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France’s police forces have launched a manhunt in the capital Paris for a gunman believed to be behind two shooting incidents in the city.

On Monday, the gunman opened fire at the office of left-wing newspaper Liberation in the central east of Paris around 10:15 a.m. (0915 GMT), critically injuring a photographer.

The paper’s executive Nicolas Demorand condemned the attack, saying, “When you have someone with a shotgun coming into a newspaper’s offices …, it is very, very serious, whatever the mental state of the person,” AFP reported
“If papers and other media have to become bunkers, something has gone wrong in our society,” he said.

The attacker is believed to be behind another shooting incident outside the main office of the Societe Generale bank in the city’s La Defense business district.

“I saw this guy with a cap and a shotgun, a pump-action shotgun, in his hand,” said a witness to the shooting outside the bank’s headquarters.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls has described the Monday shootings as an act “of great violence,” saying, “This individual is on the run and he represents a real danger. We will do everything we can to arrest him.”

French prosecutors, who have taken the photo of the attacker from surveillance camera images, described him as white, aged between 35 and 45, of average height, with salt-and-pepper hair and stubble.

“We believe we are dealing with a single perpetrator,” Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

In a shooting incident in October, three people, believed to be a father and his two sons, were shot in Villiers-le-Bel commune, located in the northern suburbs of Paris and 17.4 kilometers (10.8 miles) from the center of the city.

 

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