France Mosques Targetted After Charlie Hebdo Blasphemy Killings: Paris Protests
09 January 2015
By Ahmed Abdullah
Muslim places of worship in two French
towns were fired upon overnight, hours after the
deadly assault on a satirical newspaper that killed 12
people, prosecutors said on Thursday. No casualties
Three blank grenades were thrown at a
mosque shortly after midnight in the city of Le Mans,
west of Paris. A bullet hole was also found in a
window of the mosque.
In the Port-la-Nouvelle district near Narbonne in
southern France, several shots were fired in the
direction of a Muslim prayer hall shortly after
evening prayers. The hall was empty, the local
An explosion at a kebab shop near a
mosque in the eastern French town of
Villefranche-sur-Saone on Thursday morning also left
no casualties. Local prosecutors have described it as
a "criminal act."
On the southern edge of Paris, an
assailant opened fire on a police officer early
Thursday, killing her and injuring a nearby street
sweeper before fleeing, officials and a witness said.
France's interior minister cautioned against jumping
The attacker in the pre-dawn shooting
Thursday remained at large, said French Interior
Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. It was not immediately
clear whether the attack was linked to the assault on
the newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in which two police
officers were among the dead.
In the Thursday shooting, Cazeneuve
said, the officer had stopped to investigate a traffic
accident when the firing started. Paris police said
the second victim was a street sweeper. The officer
later died of her injuries, said Emmanuel Cravelo of
the Alliance police union.
"There was an officer in front of a
white car and a man running away who shot," said Ahmed
Sassi, who saw the shooting from his home nearby.
Sassi said the shooter wore dark
clothes but no mask. "It didn't look like a big gun
because he held it with one hand," Sassi said.
Cazeneuve left an emergency government
meeting to travel to the scene of the latest shooting.
France is on its highest level of alert after the
deadly attacks at Charlie Hebdo's central Paris
Activists protest Gaza siege in Paris
Meanwhile, Several pro-Palestinian activists rallied
last night in Chatelet Square in the French capital
Paris to call for lifting the Israeli siege on the
The rally was part of solidarity activities organized
by the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza.
French activists and citizens from Arab and Muslim
communities in France participated in the protest.
The protestors carried banners calling for opening the
Rafah border crossing, reconstructing Gaza, and
building Gaza harbor.
The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza on
December 27 launched pro-Gaza solidarity events that
are slated to end on January 18.
In a related context, the international popular
committee for the support of Gaza called on
pro-Palestinian groups to continue organizing
activities in different European and foreign countries
against the blockade on Gaza.
The committee urged all supporters of the Palestinian
people to demand their governments and parliaments to
pressure Israel to end its blockade on Gaza and its
occupation of the Palestinian territories.