France prison van attack – live: ‘Drug boss’ escapes as two officers killed in Normandy ambush

A suspected drug boss is being hunted by hundreds of police officers after escaping from a prison van fatally ambushed by four gunmen at a motorway tolbooth in northern France.

At least two prison officers were killed in the attack launched shortly after 11am on the A154 motorway in Val-de-Reuil in Normandy, according to local reports. Three more are seriously injured, said France’s justice minister Eric Dupond-Morett.

The escaped prisoner who fled alongside the attackers was been named in local media as 30-year-old Mohamed A and is nicknamed “La Mouche”, which translates literally to “The Fly”, according to Le Parisien. A police source told the outlet that he is described as being at the head of a narcotics network.

Interior minister Gérald Darmanin said hundreds of police officers and gendarmes had been mobilised, with president Emmanuel Macron vowing that everything was being done to find the perpetrators.

Footage from the scene near the commune of Incarville appeared to show a hooded attacker in all black firing an assault rifle at the prisoner convoy. One of the attackers was injured in retaliatory fire, a prison officer union boss said.

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