Two killed as gunman opens fire in French town

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A young couple were killed by a gunman who opened fire in a northern French town Douchy-les-Mines.

DOUCHY-LES-MINES – A 65-year-old man holed up in his house opened fire in a northern French town on Monday, killing a young couple before surrendering after a two-hour siege, officials said.

The two victims, who were in their 20s, were apparently shot in front of the door of the suspect's one-storey house in the small town of Douchy-les-Mines, the local prosecutor said.

The shooter threatened to kill himself but surrendered more than two hours after the shooting, leaving his house with his hands up after police contacted him by telephone, an AFP photographer said.

Around seven special police officers, protecting themselves with bullet-proof shields, had approached the house after the shooting.

The man appeared calm when he was detained, said local prosecutor Jean-Jacques Zirnhelt.

"He said he did not wish to explain his act and that he was keeping his comments for the judge," Zirnhelt said.

A special police force cordoned off the area to tend to the victims, the regional prefecture said. One person had been hit in the head, a fire brigade official said.

The road where the shooting took place was closed.

A resident said a medical helicopter landed and police swarmed the area. The witness added that he had heard "four, five cracks".

Fire officials initially believed a third person had been shot, but only two victims were later confirmed.

AFP / Expatica

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