Inmate slashes two guards in prison knife attack

Radicalised inmate detained after slashing guards in French prison

Radicalised inmate detained after slashing guards in French prison

The entrances to 18 prisons in France were blocked by guards Wednesday who burned tires and other materials at the gates in protest of the stabbing of two colleagues at a jail in the northwest of the country in what has been described as a "terrorist" attack.

The partner of a French prison inmate was killed by police on Tuesday after they stabbed two guards in an attack the government called a terrorist incident.

The inmate "is still holed up" in the prison facility where his partner was visiting him at the time, she added.

In a statement, the main CGT union said attacks against guards are becoming more common and intolerable, and that the penal population was becoming "increasingly vindictive, aggressive and violent".

The woman, who has not been named, died when officers stormed a family room in which Michaël Chiolo, 27, had locked himself after seriously wounding the guards at the high-security Condé-sur-Sarthe prison in Normandy.

"There is no doubt as to the terrorist nature of this attack", Belloubet told reporters earlier.

Chiolo was heard shouting "Allahu Akhbar" (God is Greatest) during his rampage in a family-visiting area, staff representative Alassanne Sall told AFP on Tuesday.

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"It was truly a murder attempt".

The lives of the two guards are not in danger, although one required surgery after being wounded to the chest.

The attack took place in the family unit where the prisoner, who is serving a 30-year sentence for a kidnapping leading to a death, armed robbery and condoning terrorism, was being visited by his wife.

He was also sentenced to a year in jail - when already in prison - for asking fellow inmates to "reenact" an attack by Islamic State gunmen on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris in November 2015.

But despite having been identified as an extremist, Chiolo was not housed in a secure wing for radicalized inmates which was opened in September, she added.

Guards at another 17 of France's 188 prisons joined in on Wednesday morning to highlight complaints about the dangers of Islamist extremists and the spread of hardline ideologies behind bars.

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