High alert in France after school shooting, parcel bomb attack

RSTV Bureau
Police officers outside the school in Grasse, France after a shooting.

Police officers outside the school in Grasse, France after a shooting.

France remained on high alert following a shooting at a school in southern French city Grasse and envelope bomb attack at International Monetary Fund office in Paris. While several students were injured in the school shooting and one suspect was arrested by police, one IMF employee sustained injuries on her hands and face due to the explosion caused at the time of opening the parcel.

As per the latest information, at least four people were injured in the school shooting in Grasse which is some 40 kilometers from French city Nice which subjected to a gruesome truck attack last year killing over 80 people.

One 17-year-old student armed with a rifle, two handguns and two grenades was arrested after the shooting at the Tocqueville high school, a police source told news agencies.

There was conflicting information about whether a second suspect was on the run, with police initially telling AFP they were looking for an accomplice. Another police source said the shooter acted alone.

A terror angle is not clear immediately but authorities have locked down all the scools in nearby town Nice which was subjected to terror truck attack in July last year.

No one has claimed the responsibility for parcel bomb attack at IMF office but a Greek far-left group had claimed the responsibility for sending a parcel bomb to German finance ministry in Berlin.

German police said yesterday that they had discovered a parcel bomb sent to the office of German finance minister’s office a day before he was due to host his US counterpart.

France is still in a state of emergency after a series of terror attacks including an IS-claimed massacre in Paris in November 2015 in which 130 people died and a truck attack in Nice in July last year.

Authorities in the jittery nation have bolstered security outside schools.

More than 3,000 reservists were called up to help keep watch outside the country’s 64,000 primary and secondary schools for the return to the school year in September.

The shooting comes less than six weeks ahead of a two-round presidential election on April 23 and May 7.

A crisis cell has been put in place, education official Emmanuel Ethis said on Twitter.

Ethis urged worried parents not to travel to the school, saying that “pupils are safe”.

The French government initiated an attack alert via smartphone in the wake of the shooting.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve cut short a trip to the northern Somme area because of the Grasse shooting, as well as a letter bomb blast at the offices of the International Monetary Fund in Paris today.