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DNA links Argentine tour guide to French murders

DNA evidence has linked a 24-year-old Argentinian tour guide to the murder of two French women in a nature reserve in northwestern Argentina, authorities said on Tuesday.

Hikers discovered the bodies of Houria Moumni, 24, and her traveling companion Cassandre Bouvier, 29, on July 29 in the Quebrada de San Lorenzo nature reserve overlooking Salta, the capital of the state of the same name.  

Bouvier was shot in the head and sexually assaulted while Moumni was shot in the back.

Witnesses told investigators they heard gunshots on July 16 near where the bodies of the French students were found.  

“The DNA from semen taken from the body of Houria Moumni is that of Gustavo Lasi,” said Marcelo Baez, a spokesman from the prosecutor’s office in Salta.  

Lasi appeared in court in Salta later Tuesday as a judge sought to determine what role he played in the crime.  

Ballistics evidence has already shown that a rifle belonging to Lasi was one of two guns used in the murders, according to the police.  

Lasi is among eight suspects detained over the killings, none of whom have yet been charged with any crime.  

The others are his father Walter Lasi (42), his girlfriend Maria Fernanda Canizares (24), her brother Federico Canizares (23), another tour guide Dario Ramos (47), gardener Santos Vera (37), construction worker Daniel Vilte (24), and farm worker Raul Sarmiento (45).  

According to investigators quoted in the local press, Vera and Ramos confessed to beating and raping the French tourists after attempting to steal from them but said it was Vilte who shot them. The confession, however, is not legally valid as it was not made before a judge.  

Maria Fernanda Canizares was found to be in possession of a mobile phone and a camera belonging to one of the victims but she said the items had been given to her by Lasi, her boyfriend.  

The two French university students had been on holiday in Argentina at the time of their deaths. The double murder has shocked residents of Salta, an otherwise quiet city of 650,000 that depends heavily on tourism.

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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