ISIS gunman killed at French supermarket

A gunman was shot dead after killing at least two people in a hostage situation at a supermarket in a southern French town on Friday in what officials treated as “an act of terror”. The incident unfolded in the morning at a Super U supermarket in Trebes town where the attacker opened fire and held several people hostage. Police stormed into the supermarket leading to a standoff that lasted about three hours, CNN reported. Reports said the gunman, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terror group, killed two hostages before he was shot dead by the police. “The hostage-taker has been shot down,” Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said on his Twitter account. Later in a press conference, Collomb identified the alleged assailant as a 26-year-old common criminal and small-time drug dealer. Earlier in the day the same man had shot at a group of police officers in city of Carcassonne, injuring one. The gunman, believed to be a Moroccan and reportedly known to French intelligence services, was said to be heavily armed and asked for the release of Salah Abdeslam, the key surviving suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks which killed 130 people. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that all information about the supermarket attack pointed to “an act of terror”. The Paris prosecutor’s office said it was opening an investigation into a “terrorist act”, as well as murder and attempted murder. French President Emmanuel Macron, who was in Brussels at an EU leaders’ summit, described the hostage incident as a “terror attack” and said he would return to the country promptly. “Everything leads us to believe that it is indeed a terror attack which is, as I said, still ongoing. The police … intervened in a very coordinated manner after what was first an attack against police officers,” Macron said at a press conference alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel. France has been hit with several deadly terror attacks since 2015 and has been on high alert since. A state of Emergency put in place after the 2015 attacks in Paris was lifted in October. .

(IANS)]]>

Modi commissions first Indian-made Scorpene

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday here commissioned the country’s first indigenously-built Scorpene-class submarine INS Kalvari to the Indian Navy terming it a significant new era “to boost India’s defence and security”.

Modi formally unveiled the commissioning plaque of the INS Kalvari atop the submarine and congratulated and shook hands with the various naval officers. This is the first conventional submarine to be inducted into the Indian Navy after more than 17 years even as the navy’s submarine arm celebrates it golden jubilee this year. Addressing the august gathering on the momentous occasion, Modi also thanked France for its help and collaboration on developing the project. “It signifies the further strengthening of the growing strategic ties between India and France in recent times,” Modi said. The Prime Minister said INS Kalvari will provide a significant boost and synergise the country’s defence, economic, technical and international powers, along with people power on the global arena. “The 21st century will belong to Asia and the Indian Ocean will play a crucial and strategic role in ensuring what I call SAGAR – Security And Growth for All in the Region,” Modi said. The submarine, incorporating state-of-the-art features has been built by the Mazagaon Dockyard Ltd under its Project 75, with technological collaboration from DCNS, France. Also present on the occasion were Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre, French Ambassador to India Alexandre Zeigler and Chief of Naval Staff Sunil Lanba, besides many others. (IANS) // ]]>