Hooded Gunmen Open Fire on Crowd in South France (VIDEO)

With the start of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, authorities are on the alert for a repeat of years past, when Islamic militants stage terror attacks on western targets. It appears the first such attack has already happened in the French town of Marseille.

Despite having some of the toughest gun laws in the world, France has seen a wave of mass shootings by attackers with fully-automatic machine guns. The latest occurred late yesterday in Marseille, when masked gunmen opened fire on a public area popular with young people and tourists.

Several masked suspects in three cars descended on the area, pulling guns and opening fire before being immediately confronted by police. The attackers then fled. Amazingly, no one was killed, but a person was injured.

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Authorities insist the attack is not terror-related, and instead blame it on drug dealers. However, some question the logic in that theory, as the attack appeared to be aimed at random individuals in a public area, and not directed at any one person. Only a quick response by police appears to have thwarted the attack.

The Express (UK) reports.

Hooded gunmen have opened fire with automatic rifles, Kalashnikovs, in Marseille, in south France – with one person reportedly injured.

The men opened fire on a group of young people not far from the cultural space known as ‘La Busserine’, local media Corse-Matin reports.

Three vehicles with the masked individuals arrived in the city’s district of Busserine at 5pm local time, France’s ACTU17 said.

As police arrived on the scene they were blocked by some of the suspects in a Renault Megane, France Bleu reports.

There was then a shoot-out with police before the attackers fled the scene.

At this time it is unclear if any arrests have been made, but police are investigating and a cordon has been set up.

Investigators have so far found 9mm and 7.62 shells at the scene which correspond to Kalashnikov bullets.

Although the attack appears to have been designed to inflict wide harm, authorities do not see terrorism as a motive.

Christophe Reynaud of the Marseille police said one resident was hit in the head with a butt of a gun and slightly injured during the incident.

Mr Reynaud also ruled out terrorism as a motive, adding the shooting probably was drug-related.

This is the second shooting in the city in a matter of weeks.

Last month a man, said to be in his thirties, was seriously injured in a shooting outside a restaurant in central Marseille.

The victim was hit several times in a hail of bullets after two gunmen opened fire as he sat with a drink in a snack bar.

Here is video of the alleged gunmen as they arrived at the scene.

No suspects have been arrested.

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