Advertisement

2 killed, 3 injured during French prison van attack to free 'The Fly' drug kingpin

By Mike Heuer & Ehren Wynder
French policemen stand guard at the toll station of Incarville, near Rouen, in the North of France, where gunmen ambushed a prison van on Tuesday, killing two prison guards and helping a prisoner to escape. Photo by Chirstophe Petit Tesson/EPA-EFE
French policemen stand guard at the toll station of Incarville, near Rouen, in the North of France, where gunmen ambushed a prison van on Tuesday, killing two prison guards and helping a prisoner to escape. Photo by Chirstophe Petit Tesson/EPA-EFE

May 14 (UPI) -- Four gunmen attacked a prison convoy in northern France on Tuesday, killing two guards and injuring three others in process of springing an inmate nicknamed "The Fly."

The gunmen ambushed the prison van that was part of a convoy carrying convicted burglar and alleged narcotics kingpin Mohamed Amra, 30, from a courthouse hearing to a secure jail in Evreux, France.

Advertisement

The four assailants used vehicles to follow and ram the van carrying Amra at a highway toll soon after 11 a.m. local time on the A154 motorway in Val-de-Reuil to Normandy and about 85 miles northwest of Paris.

The assailants used a black Peugeot 5008 to ram the police van carrying Amra, and four used automatic weapons to shoot at the van for about two minutes.

The gunmen had "heavy weapons" and fled the scene with Amra in a white Audi, which police later found abandoned and burned by fire about a dozen miles from the attack site.

Two prison guards died in the attack and were the first French prison guards to be killed in the line of duty in more than three decades.

Advertisement

"The attack this morning, which took the lives of prison guards, is a shock to us all," French President Emmanuel Macron said in a post on X.

The attack triggered a nationwide manhunt and murder investigation, but there were no leads six hours after the attack.

Macron said French law enforcement "will be uncompromising" in tracking the attackers and recapturing Amra.

Amra was recently sentenced to 18 months in prison for several burglaries and is nicknamed "The Fly."

He had been convicted of burglary on Friday.

French police are also investigating Amra for a homicide in Marseille and an alleged kidnapping in another case.

He was being held in Val de Reuil prison near Rouen and had appeared in court in relation to the new charges before Tuesday's deadly ambush.

Latest Headlines