Two officers killed and prisoner on the run as French convoy attacked

The shocking attack on the French prisoner convoy has sparked an enormous police operation, as ITV News Correspondent Geraint Vincent reports

Two prison officers have been killed and three others injured after their convoy carrying a high-profile inmate was attacked in France.

The prisoner they were transporting, Mohamed Amra, 30, is now on the run.

The French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that "all means are being used to find these criminals".

The "Epervier" (Sparrowhawk) plan was triggered in response to the incident, he said, with several hundred police officers mobilised.

The van was taking Amra - nicknamed La Mouche (The Fly), according to local media - to Evreux prison, when it was ambushed on a motorway in Eure, Normandy, at around 11am.

He had been attending a court hearing in Rouen.

French authorities said the people who attacked the convoy had military-grade weapons.

France24 reported several individuals arriving in two vehicles rammed the police van and then fled, according to a police source.

One of the attackers was wounded, the source said.

French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti immediately opened a crisis centre in his ministry once he received news of the attack.

"These are people for whom life counts for nothing. They will be arrested, they will be judged and they will be punished according to the crime they committed," he said.

Footage shows the aftermath of the attack Credit: Snapchat / YAN78780

Mr Dupond-Moretti added that both the officers killed were men and they were the first prison officers to be killed in the line of duty since 1992.

He said one of the officers who died was married and had two children, while the other left a wife five months pregnant.

The assault took place on the A154 motorway, which has since been closed.

Local media reported huge numbers of police stopping cars in the area as they search for the assailants.

Amra was under high surveillance and had recently been sentenced for burglary. He was also under investigation for a kidnapping and homicide case in Marseille, according to public prosecutor Laure Beccuau.

He fled the van alongside the attackers, according to French news outlet Le Parisien.

Ms Beccuau announced an investigation into the attack, which is now considered a case of organised crime and murder.

"At this stage, we mourn the death of two penitentiary agents in this armed attack, and two are in a critical condition," she said in a statement.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the attack had come as "a shock to us all" and that "everything is being done" to find the perpetrators.

A minute's silence was held in the French parliament this afternoon. Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said the country "will never cower to violence" and will "remain united".

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…