9 shot dead in gang violence

2012-01-22 08:24

Cayenne - Nine people were killed and two others injured in a gang shootout at a gold-panning site in French Guiana, police commander Colonel Didier Laumont told AFP.

The fatal incident happened in the early hours of Saturday at the Dorlin site in the southeast of the French territory in South America.

The shooting left "nine dead and two seriously wounded according to the first reports we have received," said Laumont, noting that two gangs fighting for control of the area opened fire on each other.

"This is a gang which possesses assault rifles, weapons of war," he added.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy was visiting over the weekend and the police chief informed him of the shootout during a presentation on Saturday about the territory's illegal gold extraction problem.

Sarkozy promised that the fight against the illegal industry, which also causes serious ecological damage including mercury-polluted waters, would intensify with the "creation of a specific crime," and tougher penalties.

Clandestine gold extraction annually amounts to between five and ten tonnes in Guiana, according to the authorities. This compares to just three million tonnes produced legally.

Sarkozy's weekend visit was his seventh trip to Guiana, perhaps best known as the launch site for Europe's Ariane space rockets, and his third as French president.

Read more on:    south america

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.