“Strafting” and “explosion”: the deadly attack on a prison van in France shakes a village

“Strafting” and “explosion”: the deadly attack on a prison van in France shakes a village
“Strafting” and “explosion”: the deadly attack on a prison van in France shakes a village

Regular “strafing”, “explosion”: the village of Incarville was shaken Tuesday morning by the very violent attack on a prison van, in which two agents were killed and three others seriously injured, at a toll in this town rural Eure.

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“We started to hear a shooting, I thought it was a go-fast who was being arrested by the gendarmes,” explains Jérôme Barbier, a resident of Incarville who came to take care of his hives on the road, to journalists. his father’s property, which adjoins the tollbooth where the attack took place.

“So we moved towards the attack. At first it was just strafing and then it stopped for maybe two minutes, and then there was a big explosion, and then two final gunshots,” he says.

Despite everything, he assures that he was not afraid. “We were sheltered behind the wall and there is the gendarmerie above,” said the man who himself did his military service with the gendarmes.

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AFP

“We heard firecrackers and everything, a machine gun. And lastly it must have been a grenade that they sent,” said Jérôme’s father, Yvon, who also said he initially thought of “something from drugs.” “But no, it was a gang!”, he exclaims.

Less than 200 meters as the crow flies from Yvon’s farm, at the toll barrier, gendarmes and police officers were still busy at the end of the afternoon around a white van bearing the acronym of the Prison administration and a black SUV which appears to have hit him head-on.

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AFP

Technicians in full white suits slide their arms in, presumably to carry out various criminal identification surveys, according to an AFP photographer.

On the ground behind them we can see two human forms covered with a white sheet, one stained with traces of blood, with numerous small numbered yellow marking pads around it. So many traces left by the violence of the attack carried out by the thugs who made the prisoner transported in the van escape.

“Powerful Weapons”

“It’s crazy to attack like that at the toll booth, there are vehicles coming behind, civilians, people who risk catching a stray bullet… even us nearby, the neighbors,” reacts Jérôme Barbier.

“It’s still really dangerous, they’re powerful weapons!” he says, estimating the duration of the attack at around five minutes.

The A13 motorway was still closed to traffic in the Rouen-Evreux direction around 5 p.m., noted an AFP correspondent.

If the detonations have stopped in Incarville, the emotion remains high in this Normandy town of around 1,400 inhabitants, usually quiet. “It’s still sad, we hope that the perpetrators will be found quickly and that they will be put out of harm’s way,” says Mayor Patrick Maugars, with “a big thought” for the families of the victims. .

“The citizens I was able to see, I reassure them by telling them that there is no longer any danger in Incarville, they have gone elsewhere,” he specifies.

A vehicle likely used by the attackers was found, burned, after the attack in isolated undergrowth in the town of Houetteville, around fifteen kilometers from the scene of the attack, noted the AFP correspondent , without being able to approach, the perimeter being blocked by the police.

Firefighters and other technicians in white uniforms were also working on site.

If the authorities announced that they had triggered the “Epervier plan”, with 200 gendarmes mobilized, to find the fleeing attackers, no roadblock or control of the police was visible Tuesday afternoon between the Incarville toll and Houetteville, according to the correspondent.

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