French teen shot dead in gunfight with police

An 18-year-old girl was killed in a gun battle with police in southeastern France in the early hours of Wednesday, prosecutors said, the latest in a nationwide string of violent traffic stops.

French teen shot dead in gunfight with police
A photograph shows a French police logo on a police car (Photo by FRED TANNEAU / AFP)

The girl was the passenger in a vehicle whose driver refused to stop when ordered and fired shots at officers, Grenoble prosecutor Eric Vaillant said in a statement.

She “died of the effects of a shot that hit her in the neck” when police returned fire, Vaillant added, while the wounded driver was brought to hospital.

The male driver had accelerated towards the officers when they got out of their vehicle to stop the car in the Grenoble suburb of Saint-Martin-d’Heres, the prosecutors said.

He lost control of the car following the exchange of fire and was captured while attempting to flee on foot.

France’s national internal affairs body, the IGPN, is probing the shots fired by the police, while the driver is under investigation for attempted murder of a public official.

More than 10 people have been killed in 2022 alone in France in situations where drivers have refused to halt when ordered by police.

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Police raid French rugby World Cup HQ

Organisers of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France said police raided their offices on Wednesday as prosecutors announced they had opened an inquiry into the management of the competition.

Police raid French rugby World Cup HQ

The national financial crimes prosecutor’s office announced they were investigating possible favouritism, corruption and influence-peddling under the former chief executive of the organising committee, Claude Atcher, who was sacked last month.

France is hosting the men’s rugby World Cup in 2023 – matches take place in nine venues across the country from September 8th. 

Atcher was sacked last month after an internal investigation reported “alarming managerial practices” amid allegations of bullying and harassment from staff.

The national financial crimes prosecutor’s office confirmed on Wednesday for the first time that it had opened an investigation into possible favouritism, corruption and influence-peddling.

The probe followed a referral from auditors at the finance and sports ministries, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement that confirmed raids were underway at different locations.

France’s L’Equipe newspaper said investigators were looking into the misuse of personal expenses, “certain contracts in the past and also alleged irregularities linked to the ticketing system for the 2023 World Cup.”

Atcher’s deputy Julien Collette took over from him as chief executive.

The Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 8th next year with hosts France playing New Zealand at the Stade de France. The final is scheduled for Saturday, October 28th.

The dysfunctions in the World Cup organising committee are an unwelcome embarrassment for France as it prepares to host the Olympics in 2024.