Police operation in France after reports of armed man on the run

French gendarmes standing next to a gendarmerie vehicle that had its tyres slashed by a suspect who also shot at officers, in Le Lardin-Saint-Lazare, France, on May 30, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS) - A large search operation involving elite forces, dogs and helicopters was under way in France's southern Dordogne region on Sunday (May 30) after a man was reported to have shot multiple times at police officers, the local authorities said.

There were no reports of casualties.

"The man, a former member of the army, is armed and on the run as we speak... A police operation is taking place to avoid things getting out of control," the prefect of Dordogne, Mr Frederic Perissat, told BFM television.

"The man went overnight to the home of his ex-partner. A dispute took place there, which led to the intervention of gendarmes and that is when the suspect shot at them. He then fled to woods nearby," Mr Perissat said.

The Dordogne prefecture on Twitter urged inhabitants of Le Lardin-Saint-Lazare to stay at home until further notice.

Mr Perissat later told reporters the suspect, previously known to the French authorities for violent incidents and recently released from prison, was localised in a 4 sq km perimeter where negotiators were trying to make contact with him.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.