Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 November 2019

French police detain man who was holed up in Riviera museum

Authorities had surrounded Saint-Raphael museum amid 'threats in Arabic'

Elite French police have detained a man who was holed up in a museum in southern France where threatening messages in Arabic had been written on the building's walls.

The man was not armed and his motives were unknown. A search is still on for a possible accomplice.

Officers descended on the archaeology museum in the Mediterranean town of Saint-Raphael where the man broke in overnight and refused to communicate with police.

One of the messages reads "the museum is going to become a hell", a security source told AFP, without saying if the man was armed or if others 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 huge collection of amphoras and other items from the region's Roman history.

Updated: October 23, 2019 03:08 PM

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