Reunion island: French police shot by suspected Islamist

French police escort a person who is hidden under a towel Image copyright AFP/ Getty Images
Image caption French police escort a person from a building after the incident

Two French police officers have been shot and wounded on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion as they tried to arrest a suspected radical Islamist.

The suspect opened fire with a shotgun as a special police squad raided his home in the town of Saint Benoit.

Police said the man, who is in his 20s and in custody, was spreading Islamist propaganda online.

Weapons and ingredients used to make Molotov cocktails were found at his flat, France's interior minister said.

Local media said the officers were not seriously injured and the suspect was also shot during the raid.

"This morning, two policemen in La Reunion were wounded while arresting a dangerous individual," read a local police statement.

France's counter-terrorism authorities have opened an investigation into the incident.

Interior Minister Matthias Fekl said the suspect's mother was also being questioned.

Reunion, which lies between Madagascar and Mauritius, is a French overseas territory and has the same political status as other departments in mainland France.

Last week, a police officer Xavier Jugelé was shot and killed on the Champs Elysées in Paris.

His killer, who was shot dead by security forces, was a convicted criminal who was also known to the authorities as a potential Islamist radical.

The fight against terrorism has been a major talking point during the French election. The run-off vote to decide who becomes president is on 7 May.

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