Dozens of people armed with metal bars and fireworks try to storm Paris police station

Late-night attackers have not been identified

Liam James
Sunday 11 October 2020 15:51
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Video shows barrage of fireworks aimed at Champigny police station

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.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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