Tensions, reprisal shooting attacks, and gang violence are boiling over in the Paris no-go suburbs as rival drug-dealing gangs are battling each other in a new wave of conflict.
The commune of Epinay-sur-Seine in the district of Seine-Saint-Denis has become a hotbed for gang violence and tensions in recent weeks with at least two shootings taking place in the area, one of them leading to the death of a 16-year-old boy.
Another shooting took place last Tuesday in the Orgemont district of the commune and saw a 21-year-old man show in the leg, with the 9mm bullet lodging in his right thigh. The man was targetted by unknown assailants driving a black Renault Twingo with tinted windows as he was leaving a local supermarket, French newspaper Le Parisien reports.
Investigators found three 9mm bullet casings at the scene and say that the victim of the shooting was known to the justice system.
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The newspaper attempted to speak to several locals in the area about the shooting, but none would talk about it. Some claimed not to even be from the district and have little knowledge of the ongoing drug trafficking business. “No one will tell you anything,” one young man said.
A member of a local neighbourhood association, who wished to remain anonymous, said that there was a “very tense climate” between gangs from Orgemont and several other nearby neighbourhoods.
Riots and violence against police have also rocked many French neighbourhoods since the start of the Wuhan coronavirus lockdown. Many of the rioters cited police brutality or police violence as the reason for their actions.