French police surround Saint-Raphael museum amid ‘threats in Arabic’

October 23, 2019
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At least one man was holed up at a museum in southern France on Wednesday, where threatening messages in Arabic have been written on the building’s walls, a police source told AFP.

Officers surrounded the archeology museum in the Mediterranean town of Saint-Raphael, where the man, possibly with an accomplice, broke in overnight and refused to communicate with police.

One of the messages reads “the museum is going to become a hell”, the source said, without specifying if the man was armed or if other people were in the building.

In a Twitter message police warned people to avoid the area in the historic centre of the resort town tucked between Cannes and Saint-Tropez.

“The entire neighbourhood is locked down… We’ve been ordered to stay in the restaurant,” Sebastian, an employee at the Duplex restaurant opposite the museum, told the local Nice-Matin newspaper.

The museum, a historic monument, includes a medieval stone church and a vast collection of amphoras and other items from the region’s Roman history.

Local officials in southern France said on Wednesday that elite “RAID” police were carrying out an operation at the museum.

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