French police have raised security levels in the southern city of Marseille after hooded gunmen armed with Kalashnikov rifles opened fire on a patrol car.
One senior local official suggested the incident was drug-related. The shooting took place as Prime Minister Manuel Valls arrived for a scheduled visit to hail statistics showing a fall in crime in the country’s second largest city.
As a result, elite police sealed off La Castellane housing estate and ordered people to stay indoors.
But angry residents called for immediate action to be taken to combat widespread drug-trafficking, violence and prostitution.
“We’re no longer safe, that’s how it is. The kids are traumatised,” said one woman. “It’s too much. It’s difficult, there’s gunfire, shooting, we’re sick of it. Things must change,” she added.
France has been on high alert since the deadly Islamist attacks in Paris last month. Last week, two soldiers protecting a Jewish organisation and a radio state were wounded in a knife attack in the southern city of Nice.