Police Rule Out Terrorism in Shooting Near Mosque in Avignon, France
Gunmen opened fire at a crowd of people Sunday outside of a mosque in France, injuring eight, police said.
The shooting took place in Avignon, Provence, in southern France at approximately 10:30 p.m. Among the injured was a 7-year-old girl.
French news site La Provence reported worshippers were leaving the mosque when two “hooded” men arrived in a Rebault Clio and opened fire.
Witnesses said worshipers began to run when two men exited the vehicle with firearms and approached them.
“It was a black Renault car,” one witness said, adding: “There were four individuals, only two of them, who were seated in the back, stepped out and started shooting at everyone.”
Police said the shooting might have been gang related and not an act of terror against Muslims. Police said it was a settling of scores rather than a militant attack, reported NBC News.
The mosque shooting comes three days after a man attempted to ram his car into a crowd of people in front of a mosque in the Paris suburb of Creteil. However, barriers placed in front of the mosque prevented any serious injuries.
The man allegedly said he wanted to attack Muslims for past terrorist actions by Islamist extremists.
On June 19, a British man named Darren Osborne, 47, rammed his van into a crowd of Muslims leaving a mosque in London, killing one person and injuring several others.
Osbourne was arrested for terrorism-related murder and attempted murder.
France’s government is preparing to extend a state of emergency put in place after Islamic extremist attacks in 2015, citing continued threats.