Soldiers take to the streets of Dijon to restore calm as Chechen gangs open fire with assault rifles in third night of unrest

  • Chechen gangs were filmed firing assault rifles in the air in Dijon, France 
  • Horrifying videos released on social media show the well-armed masked men
  • A government spokesman confirmed that Interior Minister Christophe Castaner had ordered reinforcements into the city to deal with the growing violence

Military reinforcements were flooding into Dijon after Chechen gangs were filmed firing assault rifles in the air as they prepared to carry out ‘revenge attacks’.

Horrifying videos released on social media show the well-armed masked men – who also brandish pistols – in the eastern city, 200 miles from Paris.

The hooded gang members are refugees from Chechnya – part of the Russian Federation which has been involved in two bloody independence wars over the past 26 years.

‘Unrest has been going on for the past three nights,’ a Dijon police source said on Monday. ‘Chechen gangs linked to the drug trade and other criminal activity have mobilised to take part in battles with other gangs.


Horrifying videos released on social media show the well-armed masked men – who also brandish pistols – in the eastern city, 200 miles from Paris

Military reinforcements were flooding into Dijon tonight after Chechen gangs were filmed firing assault rifles in the air

‘Weapons including Kalashnikovs, axes and baseball bats are being carried openly on the streets, and live ammunition is being fired. People are terrified.’

The source said that the trouble was originally triggered by an assault of a 16-year-old Chechen last Wednesday which is being investigated as ‘attempted murder’.

‘The Chechens reacted violently, going into housing estates in vast numbers to see try and find who was responsible,’ the source added.

‘The situation in Dijon is now so tense that military and police reinforcements are being drafted in to the city,’ the source added.


The hooded gang members are refugees from Chechnya – part of the Russian Federation which has been involved in two bloody independence wars over the past 26 years

Gendarmes walk in a street in the Gresilles area of Dijon, eastern France, on June 15

Dijon prosecutor Eric Mathais said six people had been wounded so far, but there had been no arrests.

A government spokesman in Paris confirmed that Interior Minister Christophe Castaner had ordered reinforcements into the city to deal with the growing violence.

Francois Rebsamen, the Mayor of Dijon – a city that is famous across the world for its mustard – said: ‘What happened is unprecedented and unacceptable.’

He said Chechen gangs carried out three raids on three successive nights starting on Friday.

Police walk carrying a shield and a tear gas canister launcher in the Gresilles area of Dijon, eastern France, on June 15

A picture shows a car on fire in the Gresilles area of Dijon, eastern France, on June 15

Bernard Schmeltz, the local Prefect, confirmed in a statement that the violence ‘appeared to be part of a settling of scores between members of the Chechen community in France and residents of Dijon’.

One attack saw some 50 Chechens enter an estates in the Gresilles are of Dijon on Saturday, where a man who owns a pizzeria was badly wounded by gunfire.

Chechnya is a republic in the North Caucasus. Two wars in the 1990s triggered a wave of emigration, with some 30,000 heading for France.

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