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A Kurdish cultural center targeted by a shooting in Paris


PARIS –

A shooting targeting a Kurdish cultural center in Paris on Friday left two dead and four injured, authorities said. A 69-year-old suspect was injured and arrested.

The reason for the shooting was not immediately clear. The Paris prosecutor’s office has opened a murder investigation and is working to confirm the suspect’s identity.

Police cordoned off the area of ​​the French capital’s 10th arrondissement, on a busy street with shops and restaurants near the Gare de l’Est. The shooting took place at a time when Paris is in full swing before the Christmas weekend.

The Paris Police Department has warned people to stay away from the area while rescuers are on the scene.

The shooting occurred at a nearby Kurdish cultural center and restaurant and hairdresser, according to 10th arrondissement mayor Alexandra Cordebard. Speaking to reporters at the scene, she said the “true motivation” for the shooting remains unclear.

As she spoke, a nearby crowd chanted “Erdogan, terrorist” — referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo─ƒan — and “Turkish state, murderer.”

The attacker was also injured and is hospitalized, Cordebard said.

Two of the four people injured are in critical condition, prosecutors said.

Counterterrorism prosecutors are in contact with investigators but have indicated no signs of a terrorist motive at this stage. France was hit by a series of deadly attacks by Islamic extremists in 2015-2016 and remains on high alert for terrorism-related violence.


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Nicolas Vaux-Montagny contributed to this report from Lyon

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