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France On High Alert After Letter Bomb Blast At IMF’s Paris Office, Shooting At French School

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Representational Image

Several people were injured in shooting on day at a high School in the southern French town of Grasse. While on the other hand, an employee at the Paris offices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suffered injuries to her hands and face after opening a letter which exploded on Thursday, police said.

One person was arrested and another was on the run after the shooting at the Tocqueville high school, a police source told AFP, asking not to be named.

A 17-year-old student has been arrested after opening fire in a school in the southern French town of Grasse, injuring eight persons and prompting the government to issue a terror warning.

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All schools in the town some 40 kilometres west of Nice have been locked down, education authorities said.

The student, carrying two hand guns, a hunting rifle and two “training” grenades, entered the Alexis de Tocqueville school and opened fire on Thursday morning, the local media reported.

The headmaster was among the eight people injured in the attack, confirmed the French Interior Ministry. The headmaster was reportedly stabbed in the hand.

The details of the other injuries were unclear, reported the Telegraph.

Police have arrested the shooter who was “unknown to security services”. They said that he had recently viewed videos of American school shootings.

There are unconfirmed reports that police are hunting for a suspected accomplice.

According to the local media, the shooting was linked to a “dispute between students”. It said that two teenagers entered the school and tried to shoot a third student. One of the pair managed to escape.

But other reports said there was only one shooter, who appeared to target the headmaster in particular.

Pupils in all schools in Grasse have been confined indoors.

The attack came shortly after a letter bomb exploded at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund in Paris. It is not clear whether the incidents are linked.

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One person was also injured after an explosion at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters in Paris, security sources said.

The French media reported that the woman had opened a parcel addressed to a senior IMF official that contained an explosive substance, burning her hands and face.

Investigators told BFMTV the device was a “large black cylinder, about 30cm long”, with the blast so large the room’s ceiling was hit by shrapnel.

Police authorities in Paris said the explosive substance was not a bomb but rather a homemade “big firecracker”, reported the Independent.

France’s anti-terrorism branch has opened an investigation into attempted murder, destruction through explosive means, possession of explosive substance and links with a terrorist initiative, according to reports.

A spokesman for the police said the IMF office had received threatening phone calls in recent days but there was no evidence that they were linked to the incident.

IMF Director Christine Lagarde, who is on a trip to Germany, said in a statement she was informed about the explosion.

“I condemn this cowardly act of violence and reaffirm the IMF’s resolve to continue our work in line with our mandate,” she said.

Around 150 employees were evacuated from the building, in the 16th arrondissement, as a precaution and forensic officers were on site.

President Francois Hollande called the incident “an attack” and said those responsible will be found.

The blast came a day after a Greek anarchist group claimed responsibility for an explosive package found at the offices of Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble.

“The package contained an explosive mix,” Berlin Police said in a statement. “It was designed to cause severe injuries when the package is opened.”

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France On High Alert After Letter Bomb Blast At IMF’s Paris Office, Shooting At French School


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