France names suspect in Paris shootings, says DNA is a match

France names suspect in Paris shootings, says DNA is a match

PARIS - France on Thursday named a man arrested over dramatic shootings in Paris this week as Abdelhakim Dekhar, previously jailed for his role in a "Bonnie-and-Clyde" style murder spree, and said his DNA matched samples from the scene of the attacks.

The suspect was arrested on Wednesday after a major manhunt following Monday's shooting at left-wing newspaper Liberation, which critically wounded a photographer, and a subsequent shooting outside the offices of bank Societe Generale.

France's Interior Minister Manuel Valls identified him as Dekhar, who was sentenced to four years in jail for his role in a "Bonnie-and-Clyde" style murder spree that gripped France in the 1990s.

Valls praised Dekhar's arrest, saying that "all the evidence today points to his involvement in the events that he has been charged with".

Dekhar was convicted in 1998 of buying a gun used in the 1994 shooting attacks by student Florence Rey and her lover Audry Maupin, in which three policemen and a taxi driver were killed.

He was arrested around 7:00 pm (1800 GMT) in a vehicle in an underground parking lot in the northwestern Paris suburb of Bois-Colombes, the Paris prosecutors' office said.

Sources close to the investigation said he was found in a semi-conscious state, with one saying he may have taken an overdose.

Prosecutors said the suspect was not immediately in a position to be questioned, but provided no explanation.

Police sources said he had been taken to a Paris hospital and was under medical care.

Police tested his DNA against samples taken at the sites of the various attacks, announcing early Thursday that the samples matched.

Earlier DNA tests confirmed that a single person was responsible for the series of attacks across Paris in the last week, including hijacking a car on the famed Champs Elysees and threatening staff at a 24-hour television station. 'I've made a stupid mistake' 

The arrest came after a witness statement to police, who had on Tuesday released a new photograph of the man suspected in the attacks and received hundreds of calls from potential witnesses.

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