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Hostages freed after standoff with armed inmate inside French prison

Jean-François Monier, AFP | French soldiers stand next to a chopper in front of the penitentiary center of Alençon, in Conde-sur-Sarthe, northwestern France, during a hostage taking on June 11, 2019.

Two guards who were held hostage for five hours by an inmate armed with a homemade weapon at Condé-sur-Sarthe prison in northwestern France have now been freed. The prisoner is being held by the authorities.


The incident occurred on Tuesday at the Conde-sur-Sarthe Penitentiary Centre which holds dangerous or radicalised prisoners and those with serious disciplinary problems.

The prisoner, armed with an improvised weapon, was holding a guard and a female trainee, said regional prison official Emmanuel Baudin.

The national Prisons Administration Directorate confirmed a hostage situation without giving any further details. It said the justice ministry had alerted its crisis unit.

Security measures were increased in Conde-sur-Sarthe after a prisoner stabbed two guards with a homemade knife in March. After failed negotiations to end a standoff, security units launched an assault, wounding the prisoner.


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