FRANCE

Two charged over 'racist' shooting in Burgundy

An anti-racist demonstration in France in 2013
An anti-racist demonstration in France in 2013 REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Two men have been charged with an allegedly racist shooting in France's Burgundy region after being on the run for a fortnight. One of them has also been charged with attempting to murder a police officer whom he knocked over while fleeing arrest in his car.

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The two men, who are both 31 years old, were transferred to Dijon, Burgundy's administrative centre, on Saturday from Avignon, in the south, and charged on Sunday.

They were kept in detention awaiting trial.

Both have criminal records for theft and violent crime.

The first was arrested in Saint-Andiol, near Marseille, on Friday.

But his alleged accomplice sped off, injuring a police officer in the leg, according to the police, who arrested him the same evening.

Seven wounded in attack

The pair have been charged in connection with an attack in a working-class area of the Burgundy town of Beaune on 39 July.

At 2.00am that day a Renault Clio tried to mow down a group of young people in Saint-Jacques but failed to hit them.

But the two attackers returned a 4.20am in a Mercedes and shot at them with a rifle, prosecutors said in a statement.

Seven people, aged between 18 and 25, were wounded, two of them seriously although not life-threateningly.

Although a large number of police were set on the attackers' trail, they had difficulty finding them because they had fled the region.

Prosecutors have concluded the attack had a racist motive and 150 people attended a protest by anti-racist campaign SOS-Racisme at the scene last Friday.

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