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France flood heaps added tragedy on terror victim’s widow

Rescue workers wade through muddy waters searching for survivors in the town of Trebes, southern France, Monday, Oct.15, 2018. Flash floods tore through towns in southwest France, turning waterways into raging torrents that killed at least 10 people, authorities said Monday. (AP Photo/Fred Lancelot)

PARIS (AP) — A woman whose husband was killed in an Islamic extremist attack has now lost both of her parents in flash floods that killed at least 13 people in southwest France, officials said Tuesday.

Martine Mazieres’ husband, Jean, was one of four people killed in a carjacking, shooting and supermarket hostage-taking in the Aude region in March.

On Monday, her father and mother were among victims of the flash floods that ripped through area towns. The parents’ deaths were confirmed by the mayor of Trebes, the town hardest-hit by the flooding and where extremist gunman Radouane Lakdim took hostages in a supermarket. The mayor spoke Tuesday to RTL radio.

Martine Mazieres lives in the nearby town of Villedubert, said town councilor Norbert Acco, reached by phone. He, too, confirmed that her parents were among the flood victims in Trebes.

Le Parisien newspaper quoted Villedubert’s mayor, Marc Rofes, as saying that when he visited Mrs. Mazieres, “she immediately told me that she feels as though fate is conspiring against her.”

Rescue workers were still searching for three people listed as missing in the floods. The Aude regional government and the Interior Ministry in Paris said the death toll had risen to 13.

The region’s top local official, Alain Thirion, said on BFMTV that flood victims were mainly older people who were “surprised by the amount of rain” when storms swept in from the Mediterranean and dumped several months-worth of rain in a few hours.

In Trebes, the town with the most deaths, the Aude River quickly swelled from about knee-height to a destructive flood that ended up being over 6.5 meters (21 feet) deep.

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