A mob armed with metal bars and fireworks has attacked a police station in the suburbs of Paris, officials in the city have said.
An unidentified group of about 40 people, whose motive was not clear, tried to storm the police station in Champigny-sur-Marne, about nine miles (15km) southeast of central Paris.
The mob tried, but failed, to force its way into the building on Saturday night in the third attack on the station in three years.
Violente attaque cette nuit du commissariat de #Champigny par des tirs de mortiers et projectiles divers. Aucun policier n’a été blessé.
Investigations en cours pour identifier les auteurs.
Le préfet de Police exprime son soutien aux policiers visés par ces actes intolérables. https://t.co/DgFm6wui4x
— Préfecture de Police (@prefpolice) October 11, 2020
Officials said they “weren’t far off from a disaster”.
Video posted to social media by police showed a barrage of fireworks going off in the direction of the station, located in the area of a housing estate known for drug trafficking.
The Paris police headquarters said on Twitter. “Violent attack last night on the police station of Champigny with mortar shots and various projectiles. No police officer was injured.”
Nobody was arrested but pictures showed smashed windows at the police station and damaged cars.
The area is deemed by authorities as a high-priority district for order to be restored.
Champigny Mayor Laurent Jeanne told BFM: “It was an organised attack of about 40 people who wanted to do battle. For a few days it has been tense with people who have a certain willingness to do battle with the police.
“It’s anti-police sentiment. We weren’t far off from a disaster.”
It’s the latest in a number of public order safety incidents in France since the end of the COVID-19 lockdown in mid-May.
Ministers and law enforcement are on heightened alert for increases in crime amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
President Emmanuel Macron, who faces a presidential election in less than two years, has been criticised by opponents over crime and public safety since he took power in 2017.
Opinion polls show that the public see his government as weakest on those issues.