Shots fired in security scare in Villepin vicinity

29th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

SALLANCHES, France, Aug 29, 2006 (AFP) - Police opened fire Tuesday after a man forced a roadblock near a restaurant where French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin was lunching with a group of officials, local authorities said.

SALLANCHES, France, Aug 29, 2006 (AFP) - Police opened fire Tuesday after a man forced a roadblock near a restaurant where French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin was lunching with a group of officials, local authorities said.

The man, who was driving a stolen car and was suspected of a string of robberies in the area, was arrested shortly afterwards, according to the local prefecture in Sallanches, in the southeastern French Alps.

An AFP journalist saw a black BMW pull up suddenly in front of the building, screeching to a halt and veering around, before heading off down a side road.

Local gendarme chief Olivier Kim said the incident had "nothing to do with the prime minister", who was in town for a meeting of the national mountain council and later continued his visit to a farm in the region.

The gendarmes, or military police, "used their firearms" to carry out the arrest but injured no one, an official at the prefecture said. The suspect was injured during his arrest, but not by gunfire, Kim said.

Witnesses heard three shots being fired, while a police helicopter arrived at the scene shortly afterwards.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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