French Prime Minister Jean Castex branded as “cowardly” the people who shot and seriously injured two police officers in a town near Paris on Wednesday night.
The officers were on a surveillance mission when they were “taken by surprise” in an industrial area of Herblay, the Pontoise public prosecutor said in a statement.
The victims, aged 30 and 45, were “massacred” with “in all likelihood a clear intention to kill” added an official at the Cergy-Pontoise police station.
One was hit by four bullets and is in a critical condition, with a fractured skull, while the other was shot twice.
They were attacked by three individuals at around 10.30pm on Wednesday night, AFP reports.
According to a police source, the officers were taken out of a car and attacked. During the struggle, the attackers stole their service weapons and opened fire.
The assailants also stole a police radio and a mobile phone, and damaged the police vehicle.
The Pontoise public prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into the flagrante delicto of the charge of “attempted homicide of law enforcement officers in an organised gang.”
Prime Minister Jean Castex took to Twitter to condemn the attackers.
“The cowardly individuals who odiously attacked two of our police officers have also targeted the Republic: it will never accept that the lives of those who protect it are threatened,” he wrote.
“Solidarity with the families of our everyday heroes and unwavering support for their colleagues.”