Around 40 people armed with metal bars and fireworks tried to storm a police station in a Paris suburb on Saturday night, officials said.
Police shared a video showing a barrage of fireworks going off in the direction of the police station around midnight on Saturday in Champigny-sur-Marne, about nine miles southeast of central Paris.
The assailants tried to force entry into the station, but failed to do so. Police said eight mortars were found nearby.
“Violent attack last night on the police station of Champigny with mortar shots and various projectiles. No police officer was injured,” the Paris police headquarters said on Sunday.
The people behind the attack have not been identified and nobody was arrested.
The motive for the attack was not immediately clear. The station is located in the Bois-l’Abbe area by a housing estate known for drug trafficking which authorities deemed high priority for policing.
The Champigny police station had previously been targeted twice since 2018, once earlier this year during lockdown.
Mayor of Champigny Laurent Jeanne said the attack may have been triggered after a moped accident that local residents blamed on the police.
“It was an organised attack of about 40 people who wanted to do battle. For a few days it has been tense with people who have a certain willingness to do battle with the police,” he told local media.
Gerald Darmanin, France’s interior minister, offered his “full support” to police officers, writing on Twitter: “Little gang leaders don’t impress anyone and they will not deter our work fighting drug trafficking.”
A spate of criminal incidents across France since the end of lockdown in mid-May has put Emmanuel Macron’s government on heightened alert for increases in crime as the economic impact of the pandemic sinks in.
Dozens of Journalists Attacked or Detained Amid Violent Belarus Crackdown
Scores of journalists have been assaulted or detained by security officers in Belarus while covering protests against the country’s contested election, the Belarusian Association of Journalists said Wednesday.
The Belarusian interior ministry said more than 6,000 protesters have been detained during the three nights of post-election unrest and around 250 sought medical assistance.
Here’s a breakdown of how many journalists have been targeted, as compiled by the Rory Peck Trust, an NGO that supports freelance journalists in crisis:
– 55 arrested journalists,
– 25 journalists in custody awaiting trial,
– 17 journalists violently assaulted,
– 10 damaged cameras and seized memory cards,
– Three journalists injured, including one wounded in the leg by a rubber bullet and one in the thigh by a projectile.
The Belarusian Association of Journalists said it has documented at least 62 instances of attacks on or detentions of colleagues since Sunday.
“This is a gross violation of the freedom of speech and transparency of the election process,” it said in a statement, calling on the authorities to identify those responsible and hold them accountable.
Several Russian journalists were among those attacked or detained during the post-election protests in Belarus. A number of them have since been released and sent back to Russia while some still remain unaccounted for.
Since the start of 2020, more than 170 journalists have been jailed or fined in Belarus, the Belarusian Association of Journalists said.