Still in a state of emergency after the Nice attack last summer, France today was hit with two separate incidents today.
At least three people at high school in the small southern town of Grasse have been injured after a shooting. The interior ministry and police sources said a 17-year-old student carrying a rifle, handguns and grenades was arrested.
The Globe and Mail reports, “The individual does not seem to be known by police,” one police source said.
A second source said it appeared that two students had opened fire on the headmaster, who had been injured, adding that the suspects did not seem to be militants.
Excuse me? A teenager carrying a rifle, handguns and grenades does not seem to be a militant? Then what the heck else is he?
“One of the two was arrested and the second fled. There was panic and the students took refuge in the (neighbouring) supermarket,” said the source.
Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told France Inter radio that three people had been injured, and advised families to remain patient as police took control to stabilise the situation. He had earlier told BFM TV eight were injured.
Local emergency services advised residents on Twitter to stay at home. The government launched its mobile telephone application warning of a “terrorist” attack.
However, other sources have said it was simply an argument between two students.
The Washington Post reports, The suspect, whose identity was not disclosed, was of “European” origin, the spokesman said. No immediate link to terrorism was available.
Separately, one person was slightly injured when a letter bomb exploded at the offices of the International Monetary fund in central Paris.
France continues to be on high alert particularly with elections just six weeks away — and political changes in the wind across Europe.
Just last night in the Netherlands, nationalist Geert Wilders was defeated by incumbent Mark Rutte. The election there was seen as a bellwether of “populist” sentiment on the continent. The European Union was relieved to see the status quo maintained, which doesn’t bode well for Marine Le Pen’s chances in France, who is also seen as a populist upstart in the Donald Trump mold.
The Express says, The (Dutch) election was seen as the first of three big tests this year of anti-establishment sentiment in the EU with France and Germany also set to go to the polls.
France chooses its next president, with Ms Le Pen set to make the second-round run-off in May, while in September right-wing eurosceptic party Alternative for Germany, which has attacked Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy, will probably win its first lower house seats.
As terror attacks continue to flash in France and Germany, it will be interesting to see which way those nations tilt.
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]