French police injured in Molotov cocktail attack


Paris (AFP)

Four police officers were injured in a notorious working class housing estate near Paris on Saturday after being struck by a volley of Molotov cocktails, a police source said.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve described the attack in Grande Borne, an area built in the 1960s in Paris's southern suburbs, as "extremely serious".

The injured officers, two of whom are in a serious condition, "were in a police vehicle monitoring a surveillance camera near a traffic light. About 10 people attacked them with volleys of Molotov cocktails," shortly before 3:00 pm (1300 GMT) the source said.

The two badly injured officers "have major burns and were taken to a hospital in Paris," he added.

Other police officers who arrived in a second vehicle "were also targeted by volleys of Molotov cocktails," the source said, adding that these reinforcements were "slightly injured and very shaken and were taken to hospital."

The two police cars were set ablaze.

Many more officers were sent to the scene, but no arrests were made, the police source said.

The traffic light where the attack occurred has frequently been the scene of violent robberies of drivers.

The local mayor, Jean-Marie Vilain, told AFP that as a result of Saturday's incident the response to chronic criminality in the area would be stepped up.

"The next step will be to go inside Grande Borne to put an end to all the drug dealing, because that is really what the cameras interfere with," he said.

Cazeneuve said in a statement, "Everything is being done to find and arrest those behind these intolerable attacks and bring them to justice."