France’s interior minister has been urged to act after a video emerged of armed men outside a residential block of flats in Nice.
Eric Ciotti, leader of the right-of-centre Les Républicains party said it showed individuals carrying assault rifles and pistols in the Les Moulins neighbourhood. He said the men were “walking around holding the neighbourhood”.
Dans le quartier des Moulins à #Nice06, des individus se baladent et tiennent le secteur avec des armes, vraisemblablement un fusil d'assaut et un pistolet.— Eric Ciotti (@ECiotti) April 2, 2023
Je demande au ministre de l'Interieur @GDarmanin d'engager tous les moyens disponibles pour reconquérir ce quartier ! pic.twitter.com/sq9bX4p5Hf
Investigators are now analysing the video and working to confirm its date and time. The resident who filmed the video sent it to authorities anonymously, for fear of retribution.
Police union Unité SGP said it was “not surprised by these images” and asked for reinforcements in the Nice (Alpes-Maritimes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) neighbourhood.
Union departmental secretary Laurent Martin de Frémont told BFMTV: “We must say, we are seeing a rise in this type of issue. We are dealing with individuals who use weapons to intimidate, and to achieve [criminal] deals.”
He also asked for “at least 100 personnel to be able to work effectively in the Les Moulins district and to ensure a police presence at all times”.
Later on Sunday after Mr Ciotti’s tweet, three people were killed and six injured (two seriously) in three shootouts in Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône).
The shootings happened in neighbourhoods that are experiencing increased drug issues, said the Bouches-du-Rhône prefecture. The police have now opened an inquiry into the incidents.
The first was reported around midnight in the cité of Castellas, in the 15th arrondissement. Two people died and six were injured, with one in critical condition.
The second shooting took place on the other side of the A7 motorway, in the cité of Aygalades, just before 01:00.
The third happened near rue Vincent-Leblanc, near the Joliette neighbourhood, in the 2nd arrondissment. One victim was declared shot dead, while two more were injured, of which one was in a serious condition.
These deaths mean there have been 13 people killed by gunshots in Marseille since the start of the year, AFP news agency reports, mainly due to drug-related incidents.