French city Marseille hit by fresh 'gangland' killing
French police found a man's body in a blazing car Monday in what appeared to be the latest in a series of gangland killings in the southern city of Marseille, officials said.
"His head was blown to bits and the body completely charred," said state prosecutor Jacques Dallest, noting that burning a car with a corpse inside was a common practice among "thugs" to destroy evidence of their crimes.
Police found traces of at least one bullet in the Audi A3 they found in flames at 04:00 am (0200 GMT) in an eastern district of Marseille, where 14 people have died in mostly drug-related killings since the start of the year.
Dallest said the latest death was "in all likelihood a score-settling which fits into the series which we have had since the beginning of the summer."
On Friday, a 24-year-old drug dealer turned up at a Marseille police station and said he needed police protection from possible attack by his suppliers after 1,500 euros (1,900 dollars) had disappeared from one of his stashes.
Marseille has long had a reputation in France as a hub of drug-dealing and organised crime.
© 2010 AFP