France vows weapons crackdown after Marseille shooting

13th September 2015, Comments 0 comments

The French government said Sunday it was determined to choke off the supply of weapons and disarm criminal gangs, several hours after a man was shot dead in the centre of Marseille, the southern city known for its high crime levels.

"Within the next six weeks I will put forward a wide-ranging and extremely aggressive plan to fight against the trafficking and possession of weapons in our country," Interior Minister Bernard Cazenueve told Europe 1 radio.

In the early hours of Sunday, shots were fired from a car outside a bar near the Old Port area of Marseille, killing one man and wounding five others.

"There is still too much violence in this city," Cazeneuve said.

"We must step up the disarming of all these criminal groups."

He said 6,000 weapons a year were being seized from criminal groups, of which 1,200 were combat rifles and other weapons of war.

Investigators believe the shooting in Marseille followed an argument between a bouncer and a group of several people at the bar.

"It appears that after an argument a vehicle drove down the road and someone opened fire with a Kalashnikov on people who were at the entrance to the bar," the Mediterranean city's deputy prosecutor, Andre Ribes, said.

Shootings are a regular occurrence in Marseille. On August 6, a man in his fifties who was active in the organised crime scene was gunned down in the street by two men, including one on a motorbike.

© 2015 AFP

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