France: Eyewitness recounts Avignon mosque shooting as police rule out terrorism



Eyewitnesses, including a victim, recounted their experiences of a shooting outside a mosque in the southern French commune of Avignon on Sunday, which led to eight people being lightly injured.

According to the local prosecutor, “From what we know this evening, the mosque was not targeted. The fact that it happened in the street of the religious establishment was unconnected with it.”

A witness described two suspects getting out of a car, reportedly carrying a handgun and a shotgun. Four people were injured outside the Arrahma mosque, alongside a family of four living nearby the site who were reportedly hit by shrapnel.

The attack is not being treated as a terrorist attack, according to police officials.

SOT, witness (French): “A black Renault car, with 4 people inside. 2 of them got off the car, came here and starting shooting. There were around 30 young people here. And they shot randomly. People had the reflex to run to the mosque. It was the end of the prayer and some elderly people starting going out of the mosque and were targeted too.”

SOT, witness (French): “As I said to your colleagues, it is not a murder attempt, it is intimidation. It is neither related to drugs nor an attack on the mosque. Some people had an argument at a night club, they lost a fist fight and they wanted to retaliate. It was a matter of pride. They lost, they left running and they wanted to make people run to retaliate.”