Monday, February 9, 2015

France: Marseille shooting- Prior to PM visit? Police targeted?

All early reporting has masked gunmen opening fire in a low income/ alleged crime ridden housing project. It appears that a specific police officer may have been the target. Which is interesting, of course. Keeping in mind that cop who suddenly decided he had to kill himself immediately after the Hebdo incident Or perhaps the masked men just shot into the air?

 Lots of pictures of police- no imagery thus far of alleged shooters?

10:58 am
Hooded gunmen armed with Kalashnikov rifles have fired on police in the French city of Marseille.

Elite police troops were being sent to the scene, in the northern suburbs of the Mediterranean port city, after the shots were fired
 11:08 am
Witnesses say armed men fired Kalashnikovs into the air (that will certainly grab attention!)
Witnesses say there are now heavily armed police swarming the area where the shootings took place.

The gunfire was heard in the Castellane area of the city with witnesses saying the armed men fired Kalashnikovs into the air.

Speaking to Sky News, French journalist Stefan De Vries said: "The area is sealed now and heavily armed squad teams are in the area.

"There is a very high murder rate but almost all the murders are gang-related. Very few victims are civilians."
11:12 am

Witnesses say about about 40 heavily armed elite security force officers are in the area.

A Gunman possibly more fired at police A Gunman possibly more fired at police

 11:17 am
Reports suggest shootings could be gang-related
 11:29 am
7,000 people told to stay inside

The shootings have resulted in 7,000 people in the Castellane area of the city being told to stay inside.

A nursery has been evacuated and a school is also in lock-down.

It is still not clear if the French Prime Minister will continue with his planned visit this afternoon
 11:39 am
Gunfire happened as security officials checked area ahead of PM's visit

The gunfire is said to have happened at 10am local time when security officials were checking that the area was safe before the prime minister’s visit.

Locals say hooded gunmen fired bursts of automatic gunfire
 11:49 am
Gunmen 'targeting police and firing at random'

Witnesses say riot police are blocking off access to the housing estate as they continue to search for the gunmen.

Samia Ghali, a senator from the region, told iTele that she spoke with the police director and was told that the gunmen were targeting police and also firing at random.

So far, there have been no reports of any injuries.
 11:59 am
Pictures show heavily armed police on housing estate
 12:14 pm

It is being reported that the gunshots were targeting Pierre-Marie Bourniquel, the local police chief who was due to meet Manuel Valls, the Prime Minister, later today.

Mr Bourniquel, Marseille’s director of public safety, was accompanying officers who were attended the scene of suspected shoot-out between rival gangs.

Bullets narrowly missed their vehicles, while at least one policeman ‘lay on the floor of the car’ to insure he was not hit, said a local police source.

It is thought that those involved in the original gun fight numbers around 15, and had been involved in a turf war for many months.
'No plans to cancel PM's visit'
It appears that the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls will still visit the city this afternoon.
Mr Valls has been at the forefront of a vast clampdown on suspected Islamic terrorists following the Charlie Hebdo terrorist shootings in Paris last month.
He had not yet arrived in Marseille before the shooting, and there were 'no plans to cancel his visit', a source said.
 More police on the scene

Hooded gunmen fire on French police in Marseille
Elite police troops were being sent to the scene, in the northern suburbs of the Mediterranean port city, after the shots, the source said by telephone.
So maybe it's drug related. Or perhaps the French state just wants to keep the tension high and justify big law enforcement budgets? It could be just that!

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  1. Nice Penny, you were at least 24 h earlier than the French alternative media on that one. In fact, you were the first on the subject of the Kalashnikov firing. Here a link on E&R of a video showing a crackdown on pro-Palestinian protesters during Valls visit in Marseille
    The mainstream of course didn't mention that. They mentioned the Kalashnikovs but without anallysis of what it could have meant.