Inmate's Wife Killed After He Attacks Guards During Visit

French authorities believe she smuggled in a knife
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2019 7:15 AM CST

(Newser) – A woman's visit to her Islamist husband in a French prison ended in a bloodbath that sparked walkouts in prisons around the country. Authorities say inmate Michael Chiolo attacked and seriously injured two guards with a ceramic knife that his wife had apparently smuggled in Tuesday, the BBC reports. Both of them were shot after barricading themselves into the family visiting area at the Conde-sur-Sarthe prison in Normandy, and she later died of her wounds. "It was truly a murder attempt. There was blood everywhere," a prison staff representative tells the AFP. "The family-visiting unit was a battle scene."

Chiolo, who reportedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" during the attack on guards, is believed to have become radicalized in prison, where he has been serving a 30-year sentence for choking an 89-year-old man to death during a burglary. Paris prosecutor Rémy Heitz says Chiolo wanted to avenge the death of Strasbourg mass shooter Cherif Chekatt during a shootout with police in December. One guard suffered a serious abdominal wound in Tuesday's attack and the other was slashed on the face and back, authorities say. Guards at 18 prisons around France blocked the entrances to the institutions early Wednesday to protest a rise in attacks from "increasingly vindictive" prisoners, the AP reports. (Read more France stories.)

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