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Three die in Marseille shooting, including two 15 year olds

Lauriers housing estate, where three youths were killed on 25 October 2015, Marseille.
Lauriers housing estate, where three youths were killed on 25 October 2015, Marseille. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS

A young man and two teenagers were shot dead overnight on Saturday in the southern French city of Marseille, known for its violent drug wars.

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The victims, two 15-year-olds and a 24-year-old, were standing around the stairwell of an apartment block when several individuals approached in two cars and opened fire, according to a judicial source.

They incident occured in Lauriers, one of the city's most notorious estates.

Some 20 cartridges were found at the scene, and two burned-out cars were later discovered around 20 kilometresnorth of Marseille.

The 24-year-old was known to police, according to the judicial source.

Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that "at this stage, we are working on the hypothesis that these murders were related to drug trafficking."

Prime Minister Manuel Valls reacted to Sunday's murders with "indignation" on Twitter, saying: "Nothing will stop the determination of the state to fight organised crime."

Lauriers was the scene of a massive anti-drug operation in May, when 300 police officers stormed the estate and arrested around 20 people.

The interior ministry said police had broken up 10 drug networks in Marseille since the start of the year, arresting 132 individuals and seizing 1.5 tonnes of cannabis and 39 kilos of cocaine.

During the same period, eleven deaths occurred, presumed to be score-settling attacks in a drug turf-war.

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