Three guards shot lifeless in jail van ambush as at French tollbooth

  • The vehicle was attacked near the Incarville tollbooth, Normandy, at 11am 
  • Escaped inmate Mohamed A has a past conviction for attempted murder

Three prison officers have been shot dead after four gunmen ambushed their vehicle at a French tollbooth, before freeing the inmate and fleeing on foot.

The prison van was attacked after 11am on the A154 motorway near the Incarville tollbooth, located in the town of Val-de-Reuil, Normandy, northern France.

At least three French guards were killed, and two others were left wounded, following the attack which saw the assailants and detainee, Mohamed A, 30, managing to escape the scene.

The inmate, reportedly nicknamed ‘La Mouche’ (The Fly) was being transported between the towns of Rouen and Evreux in Normandy. 

Mohamed A’s latest conviction was for burglary, and he also has a past conviction for attempted murder.

A police source told Le Parisien that he was ‘the head of a narcotics network’ in France, and accordingly considered hugely dangerous.

At the time of the attack, he was being transferred from one detention centre to another, on a route that should have been secret.

The prisoner and gang members initially escaped in two cars – an Audi A5 and a BMW 5 series.

According to local reports, the white Audi A5 was found ablaze in nearby Vatteville, Eure. 

A local police sourcce said: ‘The ambush happened at the Incarville toll booth on the A154 road. Kalashnikovs are thought to be have been used.

‘Three prison officers are thought to be dead, and three others are seriously wounded.

‘A detainee known for cases linked to drug trafficking escaped with a gang made up of around four men.’

Alexandre Rassaërt, president of the Eure Departmental Council, which covers Vale-de-Reuil, said: ‘I was frozen with horror when I learned of the real carnage that took place at the Incarville tollbooth.

‘I sincerely hope that the gang of killers who carried out this bloody attack will be quickly arrested.

‘All my thoughts go to the families of the service agents. penitentiary who escorted the detainees and who were killed or seriously injured during this attack which gave them no chance.

‘I also think of all the prison administration guards who, every day, guard prisoners at the risk of their lives.’

France’s Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti said: ‘All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and their colleagues.’

Following the ambush, the road has been closed by police for an ‘indefinite period’, Bison Futé reported.

Footage posted online showed emergency services gathered at the tollbooth this morning.

A fire engine was also filmed pulling up just metres away from the chaotic scene. 

Deputy mayor of Vendée, Veronique Besse, took to X, formerly Twitter, to express her ‘shock’ towards the incident.

I am deeply shocked & saddened by the scene of war against a convoy of the prison administration at #Incarville, which cost the lives of several agents,’ she wrote. 

‘Every day, unspeakable acts of barbarity strike our country to the great indifference of our leaders. I send my sincere condolences to the families and loved ones affected’.

This is a breaking news story. More to follow.