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SHOOTING

Bystander among three killed in shooting in south of France

French police were searching on Monday for gunmen who killed three people in southern France, including an innocent bystander, in a shooting believed to be drug gang related, officials said.

Bystander among three killed in shooting in south of France

Two people known to the authorities were killed in the shooting late Sunday in the southern town of Ollioules west of the French port city of Toulon, police said.

But the shootout also claimed the life of a woman, 57, who was a passenger on a scooter and is believed to be an innocent victim caught in the crossfire, police said.

“All means will be used to identify and arrest those behind the shooting in Ollioules,” said Interior Minister Christophe Castaner on Twitter, expressing confidence in the police to “eradicate the criminal networks who corrupt our neighbourhoods.”

A police source said the profile of the two male victims — aged 29 and 30 and known to police over past drug cases — backed up the idea that the shooting was a settling of accounts between gangs. 

The two gunmen escaped the scene.

The female victim was on a scooter driven by her husband, 58, who was wounded and taken to hospital. Local media said they were regular visitors to the area.

The Var department of southern France — a tourist magnet for its balmy Mediterranean climate — has seen a string of gangland-style shootings in the last months.

In March, notorious local crime figure Thierry Fornasari, who had been on the run since 2017, was shot dead in the town of Tanneron.

Five days later a man aged 20 was gunned down in the same region.

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SPAIN

Spanish police shoot Frenchman who ‘shouted Allahu akbar’

Police in Spain shot and injured an unarmed Frenchman on Saturday at a toll station near the French border, who officers said was shouting 'Allahu akbar'.

Spanish police shoot Frenchman who 'shouted Allahu akbar'
StockImage/Depositphotos

The officers mistakenly suspected he had a weapon, a police statement said, adding that they do not expect to open a terrorism investigation.

The man, of Moroccan origin, was travelling with a woman in a vehicle registered in France and approached the toll by the border town of La Jonquera in the north of the country in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Police said a Guardia Civil patrol was alerted because the man had a “strange” attitude and “seemed to be manipulating something inside the vehicle”.

“The police asked him to get out. He finally got out with something in his hands and he moved towards the officers,” said a spokesperson for the Catalan police.

The spokesperson said that, according to the policemen present, the man “shouted 'Allahu akbar'(God is greatest)”.

“The police officers repeatedly asked him to stop, shot in the air to intimidate him but as he continued to move forward, they shot him in the hip,” he said.

The man “then undressed” and “appeared to suffer from mental problems”.

According to the Guardia Civil his life “is not in danger” and he is being cared for in a hospital in Gerone.

Police say an investigation is underway to establish the facts about what happened.