Three Killed, Eight Injured in Marseille Drug Gang Violence

Mon Apr 03 2023
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MARSEILLE: At least three people have been shot dead and eight others injured in three separate incidents of drug gang violence in the French port city of Marseille. The shootings occurred overnight, heightening fears of escalating tit-for-tat violence between rival gangs.

Police believe the violence is linked to a turf war between gangs fighting for control over the narcotics trade in the notorious Paternelle housing estate in northern Marseille.

The estate has been associated with most of the killings in the city over recent months, according to regional police chief Frederique Camilleri.

The victims, who were mostly low-ranking members of drug networks, were found in the Castellas and La Joliette neighborhoods in northern Marseille.

A 16-year-old boy died in the La Joliette district, and another 14-year-old boy was also injured.

Marseille has been plagued by gang violence, and last year saw the highest number of gang-related killings since 2016.

Crime and deprivation in Marseille’s poorest neighborhoods

In an effort to tackle the issue, French President Emmanuel Macron launched a €1.5bn ($1.6bn) plan in September 2021 to address crime and deprivation in Marseille’s poorest neighborhoods.

Despite additional police presence, experts say that underlying social and economic problems need to be addressed to solve the issue.

Rudy Manna, a spokesperson for the Alliance police union, said that drug dealing is still prevalent in Marseille, and young people are attracted by the easy money it offers.

The recent shootings suggest that the situation is worsening, with gangs locked in a cycle of vendettas over control of drug dealing spots.

The French government will need to address the root causes of the issue if they hope to bring an end to the violence.

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