23 December 2022

Three dead, three injured in shooting at Kurdish cultural centre in Paris

23 December 2022

A shooting targeting a Kurdish cultural centre in a bustling Parisian area has left three people dead and three others injured, French authorities said.

A 69-year-old suspect, who was also injured, has been arrested after the incident in the French capital’s 10th arrondissement.

The Paris prosecutor’s office has opened a murder investigation.

It said the suspect had a prior police record, including an arrest for attacking migrants living in tents, and that investigators are considering a possible racist motive for the shooting.

The shooting occurred at midday (11am GMT) at a Kurdish cultural centre and a restaurant and hairdresser nearby, according to the mayor for the 10th arrondissement, Alexandra Cordebard.

Speaking to reporters at the scene, she said the “real motivation” for the shooting remains unclear.

Police cordoned off the area on a busy street with shops and restaurants near the Gare de l’Est train station.

The shooting came at a time when Paris is buzzing with activity before the Christmas weekend. The Paris police department has warned people to stay away from the area.

Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau said three people who were hit in the shooting have died, one is in a critical condition and two others are in hospital with less serious injuries.

The attacker was also wounded in the face, she said.

She said anti-terrorism prosecutors are in contact with investigators, but have not indicated any sign of a terrorist motive.

In 2013, three women Kurdish activists, including Sakine Cansiz – a founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK – were found shot dead at a Kurdish centre in Paris.

A Turkish citizen was charged with their killing, although suspicion also fell on the Turkish intelligence service.

Turkey’s army has been battling against Kurdish militants affiliated with the banned PKK, in south-east Turkey as well as in northern Iraq.

France was hit by a string of deadly attacks by Islamic extremists in 2015-2016 and remains on alert for terrorism-related violence.

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