France: Attack with firearms and Molotov cocktails against Roma over two nights - seven hospitalized, including a teenager
During the late night hours of Monday and early morning hours of Tuesday a group of assailants threw Molotov cocktails into one of the biggest Romani encampments in Marseille, France. More attacks targeted the same location during Tuesday night and the early morning hours of Wednesday.
Many Romani people have been injured and seven have been hospitalized, including a 14-year-old. Earlier on Monday visitors to the encampment reportedly told the Roma to leave.
The Molotov cocktails were thrown into a hall where approximately 100 people were gathered. Some Romani people also sustained buckshot wounds.
Eyewitnesses told police they heard shooting. Agence France-Presse reports three people have been arrested in connection with the incidents.
An eyewitness captured some of the events on video using his mobile telephone. The footage shows the silhouettes of people throwing Molotov cocktails into the building where the Roma are.
News server LaProvence.com reports that police say one of the Tuesday night attacks was described to them by a neighbor of the encampment as taking place around midnight. "Somebody saw the flames of the Molotov cocktails and called the fire department," LaProvence.com quoted police as saying.
There were many children in the encampment. "This is the most serious attack of this sort to have been committed in Marseille," Laurie Bertrand of the organization Doctors without Borders told LaProvence.com.
The international human rights organization European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) has begun to monitor investigation of the case. "The ERRC will be involved in monitoring the case to ensure the safety of the inhabitants, that the police investigation is thorough and unbiased, and that measures are taken to prevent racist hate crime from reoccurring," ERRC representatives posted to the organization's Facebook profile.
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