Following a tragic attack on a Kurdish cafe, the French government requested police to step up protection of Kurdish community facilities around the nation, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told media on Friday.
He also stated that the attacker’s reasons, a 69-year-old French national who “as things stand” acted alone, were still unknown.
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Shocked members of Paris’ Kurdish community said police had informed them about threats to Kurdish targets, and they demanded justice following the massacre.
The attack, which occurred as Paris was humming with festive bustle before the Christmas weekend, shook nearby residents and merchants.
A prosecutor said a 69-year-old gunman who opened fire on a Kurdish cultural centre and a hairdressing salon in central Paris on Friday had previously been charged with racist violence.
He was accused of stabbing at least two migrants with a knife in a Paris camp on December 8, according to Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau.
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According Darmanin, the 69-year-old gunman who opened fire on a Kurdish cultural centre and a hairdressing salon in Paris on Friday was deliberately looking for foreigners.
Darmanin told reporters that the man, a former train driver, “was clearly targeting foreigners,” but that it was “not certain” that the man was specifically targeting Kurds.
“We yet don’t know his exact motives, ” Darmanin stated.
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Multiple gunshots were fired on Rue d’Enghien, causing fear on the busy central 10th arrondissement street packed with small stores and cafes. Authorities stated that a 69-year-old guy had been apprehended and that the incident was now over.
“Kurds were targeted,” Juan-Golan Eliberg, an artist at the Kurdish centre, told Reuters. The incident took place in front of the Kurdish Cultural Center in Paris’s 10th arrondissement.