Two dead in Marseille after ‘gangland’ shooting

Concern over rampant gang violence in Marseille resurfaced on Wednesday after a daytime shooting witnessed by children left two 21-year-olds dead and another fighting for his life.

Two dead in Marseille after 'gangland' shooting
File photo of the city of Marseilles. Photo: Geoff Livingston

Numerous shots were fired in an alley next to a supermarket and close to the entrance of a residential tower block in the rundown Bleuets estate at around 1030 am in what public prosecutor Jacques Dallest described as an attack of "enormous savagery".

"These people have been executed," he said. "What concerns us the most is that this happened in broad daylight, on a Wednesday morning in the presence of children."

The three men who were attacked were all known to police, having criminal records for minor offences.

Police believe a dispute linked to the drugs trade is the most likely explanation for why they were attacked by men who appeared in a VW Golf that was found burnt-out near the scene of the crime.

Wednesday's murders follow the execution-style killing of a man who had just come out of the city's Baumettes prison on March 9th and the slaying of another ex-prisoner, who was shot in the face last month.

A burnt, bullet-riddled body discovered in woodland, inland from Marseille, has also recently been identified as being that of a known drug dealer from the city's troubled northern quarter.

The latest spate of incidents has followed a relative lull in the wave of violence that last year left at least 24 people dead in the southern French city and triggered calls by some politicians for the army to be sent in.

That was rejected by the Socialist government, which has instead pinned its hopes on the creation of special security zones in the city's most troubled neighbourhoods.

Critics say they are more in need of economic investment to address structural problems linked to poverty, unemployment and the marginalization of ethnic minorities.

"With the €30 billion that have been allocated to 'Grand Paris', the state has shown its priorities do not extend beyond the boundaries of the capital," Marseille mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin, a member of the opposition UMP, said in the aftermath of Wednesday's attack.

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French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

French Border police at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris shot - and killed - man who was wielding a knife in the public area of the airport on Wednesday.

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

Border police reportedly shot a man with aggressive behaviour who brandished a knife in the public area of the Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris, on Wednesday morning, police and airport sources told AFP.

“This morning officers neutralised a threatening individual in possession of a knife at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport,” the Paris police department said on its Twitter account.

A source close to the investigation told BFMTV that the man – who was likely homeless – went towards the officers, despite being asked several times to put the knife down. In response, police shot the man in the abdomen, and the individual later died.

The incident took place in the busy, public area of terminal 2F around 8:20 am, when “a homeless man started bothering security agents and border police were called in to remove him”.

Initially the man left while yelling curses but he soon returned and brought out a knife, when one of the officers fired his weapon.

An AFP photographer who witnessed the scene said “a large person of colour brandished something that looked like a knife at the police”.

“He was ordered to stop but kept advancing toward them, and an officer fired a single shot.”

The man was quickly put on a stretcher and evacuated, the photographer said. 

Security forces have been on high alert for terrorist attacks since a wave of jihadist killings that have killed more than 250 people since 2015, often by so-called “lone wolves” who often target police.