PARIS Four men armed with assault rifles escaped with gold worth 2.5 million euros ($2.65 million) after ambushing an armoured transport van in southeast France on Monday, police and media said.
The thieves used burning vehicles to block the security van on a highway south of the city of Lyon before raiding it and seizing 70 kilos (155 pounds) of gold.
They locked the van's two occupants inside before escaping. The employees were not injured and were freed by police who arrived on the scene.
"All we have are burnt-out vehicles and a fire that began to spread to the van close by. All of the cars were burnt, either to erase any evidence or to create a traffic jam and obstruct anyone trying to chase them," police squadron chief Oliver Rigal told reporters.
(Reporting by Reuters television; Writing by Brian Love; Editing by Richard Balmforth)