France has lost the fight against drug dealing in many suburbs, President Emmanuel Macron warned as shocking images of masked gunmen opening fire in Marseille and a brutal daylight murder highlighted the uphill task he faces.
Amateur footage of police clashing with Kalashnikov-wielding gangsters in the city came as the French President unveiled new measures for the country's most deprived districts. Many encircle France's major cities. Local officials in some of these areas say they are at a loss at how to tackle poverty, drug-running and Islamic fundamentalism.
In a shocking incident, police in Pau are investigating the murder of a 32-year-old man in another poverty stricken, high-immigration area, who was beaten to death by teenagers.
France, Macron admitted, had "lost the battle against drug dealing in many housing estates", pledging to finalise a plan to tackle the problem by July. He promised 1300 community police officers in 60 sensitive neighbourhoods by 2020. Gérard Collomb, the Interior Minister, promised an extra 60 officers for Marseille by early next year.
Macron said Islamic radicalism had also "won in some neighbourhoods and is in the process of winning in others".