Updated: 23/03/18 : 11:09:35
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World :: Hostages taken in French supermarket - Updated

 A police operation was underway near the historic town of Carcassonne in southern France on Friday after reports of hostages being taken at a supermarket. A policeman was also shot and wounded near the town.

It is believed that at least two people have been killed and six more still being held inside the store.

A policeman was shot and a man took hostages at a supermarket in two separate incidents in the same area of southwest France on Friday, security sources told AFP.

The policeman was shot in the town of Carcassonne, while a gunman fired shots during a hostage-taking Friday morning at a supermarket in the town of Trebes 15 minutes' drive away.

Specialist French SWAT police were on the scene at the supermarket and had surrounded the building.

"One witness named Karim, 55, told France info radio: "I heard shots fired around 11:10am. At that moment there were only a few gendarmes (military police) around but now there are between 200 to 300.

"The whole area is in lockdown and we are going to be moved away by the gendarmes."

The man "entered the Super U supermarket at around 11.15 am and shots were heard," a source said of the Trebes incident. Local authorities tweeted that the area was out-of-bounds to the public.

 According to reports a company of unarmed CRS police from Marseille who were jogging at the time were targetted by a gunman, who had initially tried to run them over in a vehicle.

"They threw themselves to the floor but one of them was hit in the shoulder," a source told France Info radio.

According to AFP French prosecutors said the hostage taker claimed to be linked to the terror Group Islamic state.