French City Relocates School in ‘Underprivileged Area’ Where ‘War Weapons’ Used

A police cadet from Nimes, holds a Flash-Ball weapon while taking part in a crowd control
PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images

A school in the French city of Nîmes is being relocated to another area after recent clashes between local drug traffickers allegedly using military-grade firearms.

The Georges Bruguier elementary school is located in the area of ​​Chemin bas d’Avignon, which is described as “underprivileged”. All of its students will be moved to the leisure centre of Mas Boulbon, where teachers will teach their classes instead.

​​Chemin bas d’Avignon is said to be plagued by drug trafficking, according to a report from newspaper Le Parisien. Local municipal politician Jean-Paul Fournier, of the centre-right Republicans, said the move was made after the school’s director noted the intrusion of a suspicious person onto school grounds and sounded an alarm.

“This decision makes it possible to secure children and families,” the city government said. It added: “The pupils of the nursery school did not really (become aware of) the danger, but those of the primary school, aged six to 12, were more sensitive to the triggering of the attack-intrusion alarm.”

Last Sunday, a 20-year-old was shot dead in the area during what investigators said was likely a settling of scores between rival gangs. Residents have expressed despair over the ongoing violence, with some claiming that have been “abandoned by the state”.

The comments are not the first time French locals have expressed feelings of being abandoned by authorities. Last year, residents of the heavily migrant-populated 18th arrondissement of Paris made similar remarks as crimes in the area, particularly drug crime and violence, spiralled out of control.

Violence in no-go areas of France has become a major problem for many parts of the country as drug gangs and ethnic gangs battle for supremacy of various areas. The most recent example took place in the city of Dijon, where Chechens and North African gangs went to war with each other for several days.

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


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