At least eight people have been injured after a pair of gunmen with their faces concealed opened fire on a crowd of pedestrians outside of a mosque in Avignon, located in the south of France.
While the story is still developing, early reports indicated that two “hooded” men, one toting an assault rifle and the other a handgun, arrived at the Arrahma Mosque at around 10:30 pm local time. They began firing as soon as they got out of their car, injuring four people. Four others in a nearby apartment were allegedly injured by “shrapnel” from the shooting.
Police and emergency medical professionals quickly descended on the scene, which appeared to be under control shortly after the shootings took place. District magistrate Laure Chabaud claimed that the incident was not likely related to terrorism; rather, it appeared to stem from a gang-related conflict between youths.
A seven-year-old girl was among one of the injured, but no reports have surfaced as to the severity of her injuries nor those of the other victims.
The attack marks the second time this week a mosque in France became the center of a violent incident, after a man was arrested for trying to drive a car into a crowd in front of a mosque in the Paris suburb of Creteil on Thursday. Nobody was injured.
Two weeks ago, a lone assailant carried out an attack on a crowd gathered outside of a mosque in Finsbury Park, north London, by plowing into them with a van. One person was killed and nine more were injured after 47-year-old father of four Darren Osborne mercilessly ran them down in what was later branded an act of terrorism by British officials.