A large group of heavily armed suspects stormed a neighborhood in the commune of Cavaillon, France, during the weekend, according to reports.
The terrifying attack unfolded on Saturday evening as families, including children and senior citizens, were reveling outdoors in the Docteur Ayme residential district.
Around 15 combatants dressed in black and wearing hoods piled out of two vehicles and unleashed a hail of bullets upon another group believed to be in the midst of a drug deal, Actu 17 reports.
“Suddenly, more than a dozen armed men arrive with several vehicles and shoot with automatic weapons. A panic ensues, where several vulnerable people stumble while trying to flee the area," residents said in an official statement.
“The children and the parents are in shock and are trying to return to their homes as quickly as possible under a rain of large-calibre bullets.”
Videos from the incident were circulated on social media.
The guerillas fired upon police before fleeing the scene.
Both getaway vehicles, one of which was reported stolen, were found burned and destroyed in other towns later that night.
Shockingly, residents say more insurgents came to the neighborhood the next day and took control of all traffic entering and leaving, effectively holding all inhabitants hostage.
“Today, Sunday, July 18, 2021, Dr-Ayme's residence is gridded with checkpoints with heavily armed men controlling people entering the residence,” locals explained in the statement. “In other words, we have a whole population within Cavaillon that is being held hostage this Sunday.”
“The inhabitants of Dr-Ayme's residence call on the people at the head of the institutions in charge of public security missions to fully assume their responsibilities to ensure our security and free us from this hostage taking.”
It is unclear if this situation has been resolved at the time of this writing.
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