France motorway police shootout leaves one dead

Innocent motorcyclist killed in crash during high speed police chase

Updated: 

There were at least three accidents related to the shoot-out, said the Belgian source, but "work was still going on to try and work out how they were all related."

Terrified holidaymakers were caught up in a police chase and shootout on a France motorway on Thursday.

An innocent motorcyclist died as police chased four suspected people smugglers from Iraq in a British-registered Audi on the A16, close to the French port of Dunkirk.

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The car being chased by officers reached speeds of up to 125mph and caused a series of accidents as it swerved in and out of traffic.

One of the accidents saw a motorcyclist lose his life as he lost control and drove into the back of a lorry.

The incident began when officers were first alerted at 5.40am to a minor accident involving the Audi, in which a driver broke his leg.

Then, 20 minutes later, the officers started chasing the Audi, which had left the scene.

There were at least three accidents related to the shoot-out, said the Belgian source, but "work was still going on to try and work out how they were all related."

According to The Sun, a Belgian source insisted that gunfire had been used solely to stop the vehicle, and at least 15 bullets had been fired.

The source added that there were at least three accidents related to the shootout, but that "work was still going on to try and work out how they were all related."

The Mirror reports that a police source said: "Shots were fired, and the car being chased caused a huge pile-up of traffic. There were numerous injuries, and one fatality."

It is thought two of the men inside the car being chased were shot, while the two other men are also in hospital in Lille.

Police also found drugs inside the car.

The paper adds that the area of northern France where the accident happened is notorious for gangs of people smugglers who arrange trips across the Channel to the UK for migrants sleeping rough in the area.

They charge up to £2,000 a head, smuggling people in the back of lorries and vans.


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