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French policewoman killed in morning shooting near Paris


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French policewoman killed in morning shooting near Paris

A woman police officer has died from her wounds after a shooting this morning in Montrouge, south of Paris. Her male colleague was wounded. The shooter fled the scene.

A 52-year-old man was taken in for police questioning but the assault did not immediately appear to be linked to the deadly attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in the French capital the day before.

Witnesses said the assailant wore a bullet-proof vest and was armed with a pistol and a sub-machine gun. At 8.15 am local time he shot at the officers, who were investigating a traffic accident and had their backs to him. An eyewitness said panic followed.

Elsewhere, earlier, in Villefranche-sur-Saône, near the southern city of Lyon, a small bomb exploded in front of a kebab restaurant near a mosque.

The hunt continues for two suspects in the killing of 12 people in and around the offices of Charlie Hebdo including two police officers. Seven people have been arrested in Paris as well as the cities of Reims and Charleville-Mezieres. They are understood to be mostly acquaintances of the two main suspects.

Police released photos of the two French nationals still at large: brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, aged 32 and 34.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls confirmed the two brothers were known to security services.

Late on Wednesday, claiming to be linked with the suspects, 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad turned himself into police in Charleville-Mézières, some 230 kilometers northeast of Paris near the Belgian border as anti-terrorism police carried out searches in Paris and the northeastern cities of Reims and Strasbourg.

Cherif Kouachi served 18 months in prison on a charge of criminal association related to terrorism in 2005.

He was part of an Islamist cell enlisting French nationals from a mosque in eastern Paris to go to Iraq to fight Americans in Iraq and was arrested before leaving for Iraq himself.

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