STRASBOURG - French police shot dead a suspect during an
anti-terrorism raid in the northeastern city of Strasbourg on Saturday that was
part of an investigation into a grenade attack last month on a Jewish market,
judicial and security sources said.
Elite police units carried out
simultaneous operations in the Paris region, in Strasbourg and the Mediterranean
cities of Nice and Cannes in the early hours of Saturday, the sources told
Reuters. One man was arrested in the Paris region.
The raids were
connected to a Sept. 19 incident in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles in which two
men threw a grenade into a Jewish kosher supermarket, wounding one and causing
minor damage, security sources said.
The police unit was fired on after
entering a fourth-floor apartment at about 6 am in the Esplanade
district of Strasbourg and an officer was wounded by shots that hit his
bulletproof vest and helmet.
"During an anti-terrorist police operation
in Strasbourg..., gunfire was exchanged between police and the suspect. The
latter was killed," Strasbourg prosecutor Patrick Poirret said in a
"The group was met with a .357 Magnum (revolver)," said
Norbert Georgel, secretary for the region's police union, who said the wounded
officer's life was not in danger.
Neighbors told Reuters that a couple
had lived in the apartment with their two children for the past four to six
months. The man was bearded and the woman wore the Muslim full-face veil, they
Reuters could not immediately confirm whether that man was the
suspect shot by police.
The French Interior Ministry declined
France's Jewish community has been on edge after a series of
attacks in recent months. In the worst incident, three Jewish children and a
rabbi were among seven people shot dead in March by an al-Qaida-inspired gunman
who had attended a combat-training camp in Afghanistan.
left-wing government presented legislation this week that would allow police to
arrest those believed to have been involved in terrorism-related activity
outside French borders.
French President Francois Hollande is caught
between trying to appear tough on crime while holding to campaign promises to
help underprivileged immigrant communities where poverty and joblessness have
bred alienation and, in some cases according to social workers and police, a
turn to radicalism.