Sniper kills prisoner inside French jail

The prison at Varces-Grenoble, in the southeast of France
Like a scene from a crime thriller film, a prisoner who faced interrogation over a murder was shot dead inside his French jail by a sniper positioned on a nearby hill.

The suspected gunman, his rifle still warm from the shooting, was arrested shortly afterwards as he tried to flee on a motorbike.

Another inmate, a friend of the dead man, was injured in the attack during which five shots were fired into the exercise yard of the jail at Varces-Grenoble, in the southeast of France.

French Justice Minister Rachida Dati said it was the first time in France that someone in prison had been killed from outside

The murdered prisoner was identified by a French newspaper as Sghair Lamiri, who was born in 1979 and had links to organised crime.

Lamiri was serving an eight-year sentence for robberies committed in 2001 and 2002 and was about to be questioned about a murder case, said Ms Dati.

Ms Dati did not name the suspected gunman, but said he was aged 58 and had been remanded in custody.

“He denies the facts,” she added, “but he was arrested when he was getting to his motorbike which had a false licence plate and his rifle with telescopic sight was still warm.”

Scores of police and firefighters were sent to the jail after the incident.

Prison security official Martin Parkouda said several prisoners refused to return to their cells after the shooting, and others threw flammable material onto a workshop causing a fire which was later put out.



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