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Mob attacks Paris police station with fireworks and metal bars

Around 40 people staged an hour-long fireworks attack against a police station outside Paris early Sunday, authorities said, the latest in a string of incidents targeting security forces in recent months.

Mob attacks Paris police station with fireworks and metal bars
The police station at Champigny-sur-Marne had already been attacked several times by youths. Photo: Stephane De Sakutin/AFP
The station's entrance and several police vehicles were damaged but nobody was injured during the raid launched just before midnight in Champigny-sur-Marne, around 12 kilometres (8 miles) east of the capital.
   
The city's mayor, Laurent Jeanne, told BFM television the police might have been targeted in retaliation for an “incident” involving a scooter driver who was stopped by officers a few days ago, without providing details.
 

 
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted that “these little dealers don't scare anyone, and will not discourage our anti-drug work,” though police officials did not identify the attackers, and no arrests were made.
   
But police union officials said the attack underscored a growing threat against law enforcement in depressed suburbs of Paris and other large cities.   
 
 
The Champigny-sur-Marne station had already been struck by youths wielding fireworks, most recently last April, and several others across France have sustained similar attacks this year.
   
The assault came after two officers were attacked and shot with their own guns in a Paris suburb last Wednesday, prompting renewed calls for stepped-up efforts to tackle crime and insecurity.
   
“There is no longer any respect for law enforcement, and unfortunately the government has not succeeded in changing this trend,” Frederic Lagache of the Alliance police union said Sunday.
   
“What will it take for the government to commit to protecting its security forces?” he said.
   
Tensions have long run high between police and residents in poor cities, often with large immigrant communities, where protests erupted this summer over claims of brutality and racism in their ranks.

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POLICE

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”

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