Shooting Outside Mosque In France Leaves People Injured
An estimated eight people have been injured in a shooting outside a mosque in the southern French city of Avignon.
Two men in hoods and masks opened fire on Sunday night as worshippers left the Arrahma mosque around 10.30pm before escaping in a black Renault Clio. They were carrying a shotgun and a handgun.
Two of the eight victims were taken to hospital. Four people were hurt in the street outside the mosque, while a family of four, including a seven-year-old girl, were wounded by shrapnel in their apartment 50metres from the scene of the incident.
French police stated that the incident was not being treated as a terrorist attack, while two survivors said that the shooting had not been aimed at the mosque.
"The fact that it happened in the street of the religious establishment was unconnected with it," said Laure Chabaud, a local prosecutor.
A local resident told Agence France-Presse: "It was a black Renault car. There were four individuals, only two of them, who were seated in the back, stepped out and started shooting at everyone." The gunmen fled the scene and are yet to be apprehended.
France has been on high alert for months after a slew of terrorist attacks, most recently the assault of police officers on Paris' Champs Elysees street on 19th June. A driver rammed into a police van and was later found to be in possession of gas canisters and firearms. He was known to police as an associate of extremists. Nobody was injured in the attack.
France is still officially in a State of Emergency, which was declared after the November 2015 attacks in central Paris. Most of the terrorist attacks have been committed by those expressing Islamist beliefs, though there have also been revenge attacks from far right extremists.
A mosque was attacked last week in the Parisian suburb of Creteil. A man drove his car into a crowd of Muslims leaving the mosque, but was thwarted by anti-ramming bollards in place and nobody was hurt.
On 19th June, a Welsh man killed a Muslim outside of a mosque in Finsbury Park in North London by driving a white van at people leaving the religious site after Ramadan evening prayers. He was later arrested on terrorism charges.
Featured Image Credit: PA