Stabbing of guards at French prison treated as terror attack

March 5, 2019 GMT

PARIS (AP) — A prison inmate suspected of injuring two guards with a knife and locking himself inside a visiting room has been arrested, French Interior minister Christophe Castaner said Tuesday.

He said in a tweet the inmate’s wife was also arrested in the operation led by a special police unit.

Anti-terror prosecutors have launched an investigation into the incident at the Conde-sur-Sarthe prison, in western France.

Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said the prisoner’s wife was visiting him and he locked himself in the room after stabbing the guards with a ceramic knife. She said the guards’ injuries are not life-threatening.

No hostages were taken.

Belloubet said “there’s no doubt about the terrorist nature of the attack.”

The Justice Ministry said the inmate had convictions for kidnapping leading to death, armed robbery and glorifying terrorism.

French media said the inmate was known as a radicalized Islamist. They said he was sentenced in 2015 to a 30-year prison term for the murder of an 89-year-old man who had survived Nazi concentration camps.