Montpellier, France: Screaming Muslim Veiled Shopper Prompts Fear Of Terrorist Attack

Monday, August 13, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Damien Cowley
August 13, 2018

Shoppers mistake cries of djellaba-clad woman for terrorist attack.

Panic ensued Thursday evening in the French city of Montpellier after a women in North African garb began screaming in Arabic as her garment became trapped in a shopping mall escalator.

Local media report that the startled woman’s cries set off a chain reaction which saw shoppers flee towards the exits of the southern beach city’s Polygone Shopping complex, believing a jihadist attack to be underway.

Upon seeing dozens flee from the veiled woman, other shoppers became panicked and themselves fled, resulting in a terrified stampede from the mall towards Montpellier’s Place de la Comédie, according to police. A police statement noted that several witnesses believed they heard the distressed woman cry, ”Allahu Akbar”, a slogan often heard during Islamic terror attacks.

“I heard the yelling, then I saw the customers bolt towards the main exit and the emergency exits, and I did the same thing”, one eye-witness explained to local news outlet, Le Metropolitain.

Thursday evening’s panic was described by one observer as a mundane incident which led to the unfolding of surreal scenes in the popular shopping mall. Normality resumed quickly afterwards, local media reports, with no injuries having occurred.

Whilst short-lived, the unlikely drama speaks of rattled nerves and a larger climate of insecurity in France;

In February 2017, an ”imminent” terrorist attack was thwarted in the city following the arrest of a local jihadist network, whilst in March of this year, three people were killed in jihadist attacks in Carcassonne and Trèbes, both in the same region.

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