An 18-year-old man was shot dead in Nîmes (south) in France on Thursday, in the same neighborhood hit by drug trafficking where a 10-year-old child was shot dead earlier this week.
• Also read: A 10-year-old child was killed in a shootout amid drug trafficking in France
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin will chair a meeting on this new murder in Paris later this morning and will travel there on Friday, sources close to AFP said.
Emergency services, called just before 4 a.m., found the man injured in the stomach and lifeless on a street in Pissevin, a high-rise area on the western outskirts of Nîmes, according to a police source and the city’s prosecutor’s office.
Shells of two different calibers were found nearby, including 7.62 – which corresponds to the caliber of assault rifles such as Kalashnikovs, another police source said.
The victim, who is “known to the police and the judiciary”, was from a town outside of Nîmes, prosecutors said, adding that an investigation had been launched into “murder in an organized gang”.
In Pissevin, where poverty rates are at their highest at over 70% and drug trafficking is thriving, a 10-year-old child died Monday night when his injured uncle’s car was accidentally attacked by snipers.
To reassure residents, the government had deployed a police force specializing in maintaining order in urban areas.
But that unit “had finished its shift at 3am,” Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said on Thursday during a trip to the West, assuring that the police would now be “present day and night in the three places that are supposed to be.” . of Deal” in Nimes.
“Few people in the county are aware of this new murder this morning. But as soon as the population becomes aware of it, yes [policiers] been deployed, people will be very concerned. Because that means the traffickers shoot on sight,” Raouf Azzouz, director of the Les Mille Couleurs social center, told AFP.
The slain child and his injured uncle are “undeniably” collateral victims, Nîmes prosecutor Cécile Gensac said on Tuesday, denouncing “a tragedy of absolute tragedy”. “The victim’s family is in no way, past or present, connected to any criminal activity,” she “had the only misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” she added.
Several cities in south-eastern France, including Marseille, Avignon and Nîmes, in an arc between Spain and Italy, have been hit by drug trafficking-related assassination attempts for several years, a violence that is now claiming collateral victims.