Connect with us

Published

on

A suspected drug boss nicknamed “The Fly” is at the centre of police manhunt after escaping from a prison van in France.

Two prison officers were killed and three others seriously wounded when a convoy transporting prisoner Mohamed Amra from court to jail was ambushed at a motorway tollbooth near Rouen in Normandy by gunmen wearing balaclavas.

Mohamed Amra
Image:
Mohamed Amra

Several hundred police officers have been deployed nationwide to find the 30-year-old convict and gunmen. It is unclear how many assailants were involved.

CCTV footage showed a black Peugeot SUV driving into the front of a white van, with other video showing at least two armed men carrying rifles circling the car in flames on the A154 motorway.

French media reports suggested a second car used during the attack was a Sedan – stolen in the town of Pontault-Combault in northern France – which had been following the convoy and together with the SUV trapped the prison van.

The two cars were later found torched a few miles away.

A day of blockades dubbed “Dead Prisons Day” has been announced in jails across France today as prison officer unions respond in anger to Tuesday’s attack.

Local media on Wednesday reported demonstrations outside of prisons across the country – including in the French capital Paris, Rouen, Nice, Grasse, Draguignan and Amiens.

A fire burns as prison staff block the entrance of a detention centre  in Val De Reuil, France. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Wooden pallets are set on fire as prison staff block the entrance of a detention centre in Val De Reuil, France. Pic: Reuters

In Yvelines 130 people blocked a remand centre and set fire to wooden pallets, Le Parisien reported.

Inside, around 15 prison staff went about their everyday jobs – compared with the 40 usually onsite.

In addition, the day’s prisoner transportations and visits were cancelled, according to the newspaper.

Hubert Gratraud, a union representative, said: “There is an awareness of the dangerousness.

“We need resources and training. We need to get as close as possible to the reality on the ground: anything can happen.”

“People were shot at point-blank range, it was a massacre, a butchery,” said Ronan Roudaut, another union official.

A minute’s silence is also planned across the French criminal justice system including prisons and courtrooms at 11am.

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

‘Assassination attempt’

Police sources said Amra was involved in international drug dealing, a suspect in a kidnap and murder case in Marseille, and had ties to the city’s powerful “Blacks” gang.

He had recently been sentenced to 18 months for burglary in the suburbs of Evreux, northwest France, reported BFM TV.

The French broadcaster said his nickname was La Mouche – or “The Fly” in English.

A prison source told Le Parisien that Amra tried to saw the bars off his cell a few days ago – with the convict reportedly put in solitary confinement afterwards.

The publication said he is suspected of having ordered an assassination attempt, linked to drugs, targeting a Frenchman in Spain in the summer of 2023.

It added Amra, born in Rouen in northern France, was also re-evaluated as ‘Escort 3’ risk category, making more guards necessary during transportation.

Read more: Who is ‘The Fly’?

Dangerous fugitive’s mum speaks

His mother told French radio network RTL she had no idea her son had planned an escape.

“I went to Baumettes to see him, he was in solitary confinement, I went to [the prison of] Evreux once. He spoke normally, he didn’t show me anything. I don’t understand,” she said.

“They carry him around from right to left, they put him in solitary confinement instead of judging him once and for all.”

She said she “broke down” and “cried” when she found out what had happened.

“It makes me sick. How can lives be taken like that?” she said of the two fatalities.

“I don’t know what’s going on in his head, he’s not talking to me. He’s my son and he doesn’t talk to me about anything,” she added.

Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti said two of the injured officers were in a critical condition.

“Absolutely everything will be done to find the perpetrators of this despicable crime,” he told BFM TV.

“These are people for whom life means nothing. They will be arrested, judged and punished according to the crime they committed.”

Continue Reading

World

Zelenskyy calls on Biden and Xi to join Ukraine peace summit

Published

on

By

Zelenskyy calls on Biden and Xi to join Ukraine peace summit

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has directly called on his US and Chinese counterparts to join his latest summit for peace in Ukraine.

Speaking from Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine on Friday, Mr Zelenskyy announced a “global peace summit”, co-hosted by Switzerland, starting on 15 June.

He claimed 80 countries have already confirmed their attendance.

But he said: “I am appealing to the global leaders of the world who are still outside the global efforts of the global peace summit.

“To President Biden, the leader of the United States, and to President Xi, the leader of China, we do not want the UN charter to be burned.

“Please show your leadership in advancing the peace.”

Residents evacuated from a building hit by strikes in Kharkiv on Saturday. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Residents evacuated from a building hit by strikes in Kharkiv on Saturday. Pic: Reuters

He added that it must be “real peace – not just a pause in the strikes” after various ceasefire breaches by the Russians.

More on Ukraine

Finally, he urged: “The efforts of the global majority are the best guarantee that all commitments will be fulfilled.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Shopping mall hit by strike in Kharkiv on Saturday. Pic: Reuters

Printworks and shopping centre targeted this week

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, with a pre-war population of 1.5 million people, is close to the frontline, and has been consistently targeted since the initial invasion in February 2022.

On Thursday, its ‘Vivat’ printworks, which is the country’s largest, was hit by missiles, killing seven people, and destroying an estimated 50,000 books. A further 21 people were injured, Ukrainian officials said.

On Saturday, a strike on a shopping centre killed six people, injured 40, and left a further 16 unaccounted for, local authorities said.

Elsewhere in the city, an additional 11 people were injured as a result of strikes, including a 13-year-old boy.

Just over the border, in Russia’s Belgorod region, the regional governor there said four residents died as a result of Ukrainian attacks on Saturday.

Aftermath of Russian strike on Kharkiv on Saturday. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Aftermath of Russian strike on Kharkiv on Saturday. Pic: Reuters

Read more
Crowded DIY stores hit by strikes
Ukrainians training without firing due to shortages
Putin thanks Xi for his Ukraine efforts

Mr Zelenskyy warned a new Russian offensive is being planned northwest of Kharkiv.

Ukrainians and military analysts have repeatedly warned of depleting weapon supplies on the frontline.

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

Earlier this month the US agreed to a further $2bn (£1.6bn) in military support for Ukraine.

It has consistently resisted calls to send US troops there, in line with NATO’s refusal for direct involvement in the conflict.

China has resisted calls by NATO and its member states to take a direct stance against Russia in support of Ukraine.

President Xi hosted Russian leader Vladimir Putin in a show of “friendship” earlier this month.

Continue Reading

World

Hamas launches first rocket attack on Israel from Gaza in months

Published

on

By

Hamas launches first rocket attack on Israel from Gaza in months

Hamas has launched rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza for the first time in months.

The barrage of rockets set off air raid sirens in cities as far away as Tel Aviv.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage in what appeared to be the first long-range rocket attack from Gaza since January, although Palestinian militants have continued to sporadically fire rockets and mortar rounds at communities along the Gaza border since then.

Hamas’s military wing claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Israeli military said eight projectiles crossed into Israel after being launched from the area of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where Israeli forces recently launched an incursion.

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly.

Please refresh the page for the fullest version.

You can receive breaking news alerts on a smartphone or tablet via the Sky News app. You can also follow @SkyNews on X or subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up with the latest news.

Continue Reading

World

India: Newborn babies killed in fire at hospital in Delhi after ‘chain of explosions’

Published

on

By

India: Newborn babies killed in fire at hospital in Delhi after 'chain of explosions'

At least six newborn babies have died after a fire broke out at a children’s hospital in India, according to reports.

Firefighters said they carried 12 newborns out of the centre in the Vivek Vihar district of east New Delhi late on Saturday night, but five of them died due to smoke inhalation.

Two other infants are believed to have already died, according to local media. There are differing reports as to whether six or seven infants have been killed so far.

Another five survived and are being treated in a nearby hospital, Delhi fire department chief Atul Garg said.

The blaze, which broke out on the first floor of the hospital, was put out after about an hour.

Burnt registration cards lie on the floor of a baby care center in New Delhi, India, Sunday, May 26, 2024. A fire broke out in the care center on Saturday night killing six infants, a fire service officer said on Sunday. (AP Photo/Dinesh Joshi)
Image:
Burnt registration cards lie on the floor of the hospital. Pic: AP

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

Mr Garg told the ANI news agency that an oxygen cylinder blast was the likely cause of the fire, but there has been no official confirmation.

“It was a very tough operation,” he was quoted as saying by India Today.

More on India

“We made two teams. One team started firefighting because there was a blast of cylinders. We can say it was a chain of blasts of cylinders.

“We had to save ourselves also. We started rescue operations for babies as well. Unfortunately, we could not save all the children… That is a regrettable incident.”

The owner of the baby hospital has fled, according to Delhi police.

Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s chief minister, called the fire “heartbreaking”, adding that the “causes of the incident are being investigated and whoever is responsible for this negligence will not be spared”.

Machines move the debris following a fire in a gaming zone in Rajkot, in the western state of Gujarat, India, May 26, 2024. REUTERS/Amit Dave
Image:
Machines move debris after a fire in Rajkot. Pic: Reuters

Earlier on Saturday, at least 27 people were killed in a fire at a crowded amusement park in the city of Rajkot in Gujarat state in western India.

Continue Reading

Trending