In a recent spate of drug-related violence, three men in their 20s were killed in a drive-by shooting in Marseille, southern France, according to local authorities. The men were among five individuals who were attacked with Kalashnikov rifles shortly after leaving a nightclub in the city. The two survivors and the unidentified attackers fled the scene, increasing the complexity of the investigation.
This latest incident escalates the tally of drug-linked homicides in Marseille to 21 this year, as reported by AFP. The city, the second largest in France, is grappling with a surge in narcotics-related crime, which seems particularly concentrated in certain residential areas and public housing estates.
Authorities are attributing the shooting to drug warfare, emphasizing the victims’ residence in a neighborhood known for its high drug crime rate. The discovery of a torched car nearby further supports this claim, as criminals frequently destroy their vehicles to obliterate evidence.
In response to the escalating violence, regional prefect Frederique Camilleri announced the full mobilization of local law enforcement to apprehend the culprits and dismantle the trafficking networks fueling this conflict. Over the previous weekend, police seized multiple firearms, including three Kalashnikov rifles, and apprehended five individuals on weapons charges related to drug trafficking.
The spiking drug violence in Marseille, particularly turf wars over profitable drug-dealing territories, is transforming into what Camilleri and local prosecutor Dominique Laurens referred to as a “vendetta” last month. This suggests an increasing level of retaliatory violence and entrenchment of crime syndicates in the city.