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French police search for gunmen after two shootings in Paris suburb

By AFP

May 6, 2024 07:24 PM


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French police were searching for gunmen Monday after three people were killed in drug-related shootings in the poor Paris suburb of Sevran over the weekend, a police source said.

Two men were shot dead near a cultural centre  in the suburb northeast of the French capital early on Sunday evening, less than 48 hours after another fatal shooting nearby, according to the authorities.

The victims of Sunday's shooting were aged 35 and 31 and known for violence and drug trafficking, according to police sources.

One was shot in the head, with two suspects fleeing on foot, leaving the magazine of an automatic weapon and 18 spent bullet casings behind them.

The second man was hit six times.

The Bobigny public prosecutor's office did not immediately respond to AFP's request for comment.

The town of 52,000 people was on edge, the mayor told AFP, saying people were living in fear of another shooting.

"There is a huge feeling of fear, that it could start again and (that someone could be hit by) a stray bullet," said mayor Stephane Blanchet.

"If it had been a beautiful sunny day, there would have been more people outside" when the latest shooting happened, he said.

In the first shooting, a 28-year-old man was killed on a nearby housing estate early on Saturday, with three others wounded.

In March, French President Emmanuel Macron announced an "XXL" cleanup of drug trafficking in the southern port city of Marseille and other towns across France including Sevran, where the lucrative drugs trade has been blamed for death and violence.

One drug dealing hotspot in Sevran was "eradicated" in that operation, police said.

"We are aware that when we do that, we destabilise traffic, we create greed and sometimes there are clashes," Paris police chief Laurent Nunez said on Sunday.

"But we will still continue," he added.

Local left-wing MP Clementine Autain accused the government of abandoning some areas, and said the suburb "did not have the police presence of other areas".

Drug-related violence has often flared in Sevran -- considered a hub of drug trafficking in France -- with the then mayor in 2011 calling for UN peacekeepers to be deployed there.

 

 

 


AFP


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