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CRIME

Suspect in Argentina tourist murders freed on bail

Authorities have bailed a man arrested on Monday in connection with the murder of two French women found shot dead in a tourist area in northern Argentina, a court official has said.

“The suspect denied all charges before Judge Martin Perez, who ordered his release on bail for lack of merit,” said court spokesman Marcelo Baez.

The French women’s bodies were found Friday by hikers on a trail in an area overlooking Salta, the capital of a northern province of the same name.

Police had arrested 43-year-old Francisco Tejada – who rents horses to tourists in the area where the bodies were found – overnight Monday.

Tejada’s wife, Doming Gonzalez, was quoted on the Internet site of El Tribuno de Salta as saying her husband was innocent and was “grabbed because he is poor.”

She said Tejada had not been away from home or work for long periods of time in recent days.

French consul general Patrick Flot traveled to Salta on Monday to confer with local authorities, a French embassy source said.

Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said his country was “appalled by the terrible crime,” in a letter to his French counterpart Alain Juppé, adding that authorities were “working hard on the case.”

The victims – Houria Moumni, 24, and Cassandre Bouvier, 29 – were “brilliant students” of Latin American studies at the Sorbonne, the university’s president Marie-Christine Lemardeley said.

They were believed to have been killed sometime last week after going on a hike in the rocky trails that offer panoramic views of Salta, some 1,600 kilometers north of Buenos Aires.

The two women entered the San Lorenzo Gorge on July 15, according to a park registry, but were believed to have been killed sometime between Tuesday and Thursday, and may have been held captive for several days.

One of the woman was shot in the head and apparently sexually abused. The other was shot in the back.

On Sunday, the French foreign ministry expressed “complete confidence in the Argentine authorities… to shed light on these murders so the perpetrators can be identified and tried.”

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CRIME

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

French Border police at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris shot - and killed - man who was wielding a knife in the public area of the airport on Wednesday.

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

Border police reportedly shot a man with aggressive behaviour who brandished a knife in the public area of the Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris, on Wednesday morning, police and airport sources told AFP.

“This morning officers neutralised a threatening individual in possession of a knife at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport,” the Paris police department said on its Twitter account.

A source close to the investigation told BFMTV that the man – who was likely homeless – went towards the officers, despite being asked several times to put the knife down. In response, police shot the man in the abdomen, and the individual later died.

The incident took place in the busy, public area of terminal 2F around 8:20 am, when “a homeless man started bothering security agents and border police were called in to remove him”.

Initially the man left while yelling curses but he soon returned and brought out a knife, when one of the officers fired his weapon.

An AFP photographer who witnessed the scene said “a large person of colour brandished something that looked like a knife at the police”.

“He was ordered to stop but kept advancing toward them, and an officer fired a single shot.”

The man was quickly put on a stretcher and evacuated, the photographer said. 

Security forces have been on high alert for terrorist attacks since a wave of jihadist killings that have killed more than 250 people since 2015, often by so-called “lone wolves” who often target police.

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