French authorities seek to extradite French fighter pilot accused of killing four hostages

Sep 1, 2021 Technology

PARIS — French authorities say they are seeking to extradize a fighter pilot who allegedly killed four hostages in the French city of Nice on Sunday.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday he wants the Algerian to be brought back to France.

Macron says he will discuss the case with French officials during his visit to the United States this week.

Algerian Interior Minister Mohamed Benioum says the country has no extradition request.

The incident has raised concerns about security in France, with authorities in the northern city of Marseille ordering armed police to prevent people from leaving the area.

The city’s police chief says security forces were ordered to take action after the four hostages died.

Macrons statement came after French authorities said a French-Algerian pilot had been detained in Nice, a town about 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Paris, and is being investigated for the killing of four people.

Authorities said the pilot, identified as Alexandre Valls, was arrested on Friday, and he had been questioned for about four hours.

Valls was said to have been under surveillance by the French authorities for two years and had been working for the Algerians military intelligence agency since 2015.

Vals family has rejected the claim, saying his life was taken in revenge for the French government’s bombing of his home town in northern Algeria in 2015.

Algeria has accused France of being behind the bombing.

Vallons family said in a statement Monday that the family “does not believe for one second that the Algeria army carried out the attack, nor that France, the French Republic, nor the Algerese state knew about it.”

The family also said the father had been held for more than two months without charge and that he had no lawyer.

The family of the other two hostages said they would not speak publicly about the case.

The fourth hostage was released.

Vallas was detained after he boarded a train bound for Marseille on Saturday, and the four people he killed were taken to hospital on Sunday, according to local media.

Valla is accused of opening fire on civilians on a Nice boulevard before being shot and killed by a gunman who then fled the scene, authorities said.

Authorities have not identified the gunman or the victims, who included two children.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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