Update as of 7:16 a.m. EST: The deputy mayor of Marseille in France confirmed, according to a BBC correspondent, that an attack on local police by hooded men wielding Kalashnikov rifles, in the city's Castellane neighborhood, was drug-related.
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According to witnesses, cited by Sky News, the shots were fired by "five to ten people" at the location, and residents called security forces, after hearing the shots.
Update as of 6:34 a.m. EST: An attack on police in a neighborhood of Marseille, France’s second-largest city, was not a terrorist attack but had to do with a drug-related gang war, Russia Today reported, citing French daily Le Figaro.
The area, known as Castellane, is reportedly a hot spot for drug trafficking and reports suggested that at least 40 heavily armed police officials are nowpresent in the area. About 7,000 people in the area have been told to stay inside, Mirror reported. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was reportedly not in the area at the time of the attack but was scheduled to visit later during the day.
“There has been shooting from people wearing masks and armed with Kalashnikovs in the direction of a police vehicle," Pierre-Marie Bourniquel, head of Marseilles police, said, according to Russia Today.
Hooded gunmen carrying Kalashnikov rifles opened fire on police officials in the French port city of Marseille, reports said Monday, citing police sources. The country’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls was scheduled to be in the city at the time of the attack, according to reports.
Elite troops were also being sent to the northern suburbs of the Mediterranean port city following reports of the attack, Reuters reported, citing a source. The attacks were targeted at Pierre-Marie Bourniquel, director of Marseille police, Sputnik News reported, citing French daily Le Figaro, adding that the area has been evacuated and several schools have been closed.
There are currently no updates on the casualty figures or who is responsible. The latest attack -- in France's second-largest city -- follows the January attacks in and around Paris, in which 20 people died, including three gunmen.
The attacks, which included a massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine, that killed 12 people, were one of the worst seen on French soil in decades.