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December 23, 2022 9:44 am
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Paris Gunman Kills Three in Attack on Kurdish Cafe

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avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

French police secure a street after gunshots were fired killing two people and injuring several in a central district of Paris, France, December 23, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

A gunman opened fire on a Kurdish cultural center and nearby Kurdish cafe in central Paris on Friday, killing three people and wounding three others, and prosecutors said they were looking into a possible racist motive for the attack.

Multiple gunshots were fired on Rue d’Enghien, sowing panic on a street lined with small shops and cafes in the capital’s busy central 10th arrondissement, or district. Authorities said they had arrested a 69-year-old man and the incident was now over.

“It was Kurds who were targeted,” Juan-Golan Eliberg, an artist who works at the Kurdish center told Reuters.

The Paris prosecutor said the suspect was previously known to the authorities and that a possible racist dimension to the attack would be investigated.

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Julien Verplancke who works at another local restaurant, Chez Minna, said staff from the Kurdish restaurant emerged from the premise in tears after the shooting.

The incident was a “terrible drama”, district mayor Alexandra Cordebard told reporters. Two of those wounded had suffered life-threatening injuries, she said.

An investigation has been opened into murder, manslaughter and aggravated violence, the Paris prosecutor’s office said.

The prosecutor said the suspected gunman had been detained a year ago for an attack with a sabre on a migrant camp in Paris and investigated for a racially motivated crime. Reuters was not immediately able to contact the suspect’s representatives.

BFM TV reported the suspect was a French national.

Armed police were still guarding a security cordon as investigators swarmed the scene.

One witness told French news agency AFP that seven or eight shots had been fired. A second witness, speaking to BFM TV, said the suspected gunman was a white man who opened fire in silence.

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