A man disguised in an Islamic hijab opened fire on the streets of Paris’s 12th arrondissement on Friday evening, in which investigators believe was a targetted attack.
The attack took place in the Lachambeaudie Square just before 10 pm and saw a man in a hijab run across the square while carrying a revolver pistol and opening fire several times before running away from the area.
While no one was injured, several bullets ended up in various shops located in the square including a shisha bar and a pub. One bullet was lodged in the metal shutter of a tobacconist, which had just closed for the day, Le Parisien reports.
Witnesses to the shooting said the man hid his face using an Islamic veil and a local cafe manager said people panicked after the shots, running in all directions.
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Investigators say that after looking at CCTV footage, they have determined that the attacker was not firing at random and that he was targetting someone specifically. The man targetted by the shooter had not spoken with police at the time of the report.
Investigators think that the attack was a gang-related settling of accounts as a similar case took place in the 11th arrondissement just days prior in which two men had shot another man several times. In both cases, the shooters fled on scooters.
The use of the Islamic veil as a disguise for criminals has not been limited to France. There have been cases of terrorists in Afghanistan using it as a disguise as well as in the UK in 2007 when Yassin Omar wore a full-face veil the day after he attempted to bomb the London Underground as he escaped the city.
While France has banned the full-face Islamic veil for a decade, Senator Jacqueline Eustache-Brinio, the author of a report on radical Islam released this year, said that many neighbourhoods and areas of the country do not enforce the law.
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