French Police Search for Man Who Threw 11 Molotov Cocktails at Officer’s Vehicles

Firefighters work to put out a fire in a car in the Malakoff neighborhood of Nantes early on July 4, 2018. - Groups of young people clashed with police in the western French city of Nantes on the night of July 3 after a man was shot dead by an …

French police in the commune of Colombes are on the hunt for a man who threw 11 Molotov cocktails at their vehicles over Easter weekend, allegedly over the national coronavirus lockdown measures.

The attacks took place at around 4:30 am on Sunday along the rue de la Liberté where both the town hall and the police station are located, and where cars belonging police and municipal employees are usually parked.

The man, who was caught on CCTV cameras, was dressed in all black and wore a mask, similar to the familiar black bloc outfits used by far-left Antifa extremists.

While hiding behind a car, he threw five Molotov cocktails at police vehicles before moving to another position where he continued to lob incendiary devices at more vehicles.

One police vehicle was destroyed and another three damaged, but a source close to the investigation said the damage could have been far worse.

“He swung without aiming,” the source told Le Parisien and added: “He spent more time hiding and taking care not to get burned than adjusting his shots.”

The municipality told the newspaper that they believe local drug traffickers committed the attacks in response to the coronavirus lockdown curfew measures which have been in place for the last three weeks.

Some criminals have looked to adapt to the Wuhan coronavirus lockdown measures, with the European Union police agency Europol warning of increases in fraud and counterfeit medical goods. Others, however, have ignored or even attacked French police.

In the early days of the lockdown, which was initiated in mid-March, police in the no-go Paris suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis said they felt overwhelmed trying to enforce the lockdown guidelines.

Earlier this month, bands of youths in so-called vulnerable neighbourhoods attacked or intimidated officials in several cities.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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