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CRIME

Bike rage: Paris cyclist shot by pedestrian

Those who have ever dared to cycle through France’s notoriously traffic-clogged capital will know that it carries certain risks. But one unfortunate cyclist in Paris would not have considered gun toting pedestrians among the main dangers.

Bike rage: Paris cyclist shot by pedestrian
File photo: InSapphoWeTrust/Flickr

A cyclist in Paris was injured on Monday night after reportedly being shot twice by a pedestrian in the street in the 20th arrondissement, towards the east of the city.

What appears to have begun as an innocuous dispute, the type of which occurs between pedestrians and cyclists in the French capital on daily basis, ended in what police may judge as attempted murder.

Sources close to the investigation say that the shooting occurred happened after an apparent “disagreement” between the cyclist and a pedestrian. The gunman fled the scene and has not been found.

Whether the two knew each other has still to be determined. The cyclist was rushed to a nearby hospital where his life is not believed to be in danger.

“We will have to be careful,” a police source told Le Point news site. “We don’t know if the two men knew each other, nor the reasons for their disagreement.”

The investigation has now been handed over to Paris’s Criminal Investigation Department.

It is the second incident in less than a matter of days in which an apparent innocuous dispute on the capital's roads has descended into violence.

Earlier this month a motorist was left fighting for his life after he was knifed four times in the 16th arrondissement for beeping his horn at a fellow driver at a red light.

The suspected knife wielder was later tracked down near his home.

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POLITICS

French minister apologises for Champions League chaos

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Tuesday made a partial apology for chaos at last month's Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Paris, while insisting fake tickets and "delinquency" were mostly to blame.

French minister apologises for Champions League chaos

“Should things have been managed better at the Stade de France (stadium)? The answer is yes. Am I partly responsible? The answer is yes,” Darmanin told RTL radio.

“Of course, I readily apologise towards everyone who suffered from this bad management of the event,” he added.

After scenes of fans crowded into tight spaces and being tear-gassed by police caused outrage around Europe, Darmanin poured fuel on the fire by blaming supporters with fake tickets for the disruption.

UEFA events director Martin Kallen last week told French senators investigating the fiasco that the football body’s count of fake tickets was far short of the tens of thousands claimed by French authorities.

“We don’t believe it’s the number mentioned in France,” he said, adding that 2,600 fake tickets were identified at turnstiles — compared with the number of 30,000 to 40,000 people with fake tickets and without tickets suggested by Darmanin.

“It was a question of fake tickets… that created the difficulties we all know about” of large crowds of fans packed into underpasses or outside locked gates, Darmanin insisted Tuesday.

He added that “if there was something that went wrong at the Stade de France, it was the fight against delinquency”, saying he had already ordered a reorganisation of policing around the venue and that three major matches since had passed without incident.

While some supporters did report being victims of crime by gangs of youths before and after the match, there were also many complaints about police treatment of fans.

Disabled Liverpool fans last week told the Senate how officers sprayed tear gas at people in wheelchairs.

The English supporters have reacted with particular fury to Darmanin’s defence of the French police’s actions.

“People’s memories will forever be tarred by the lack of organisation and heavy-handed policing, and then of course the way authorities tried to deflect blame and scapegoat Liverpool fans for their incompetence,” Liverpool mayor Steve Rotheram told AFP earlier this month.

CCTV footage from around the stadium has also been deleted despite the Senate probe.

A government report published earlier this month said a “chain of failures” by French authorities has inflicted “severe damage” on the image of the country as it prepares to host the Olympic Games in 2024.

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