French media is not sparing it’s headlines today after hundreds of Chechens from all across the country arrived in the city of Dijon on Friday and are now patrolling its streets by car and on foot, armed with bats and machete.
They are in town to get revenge on North African gangs. The turf war has been going on for three days.
The local prefect Bernard Schmeltz, the top state official in the region (comparable to a governor in the US), said 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.
French social media is engulfed with images and videos coming from the city of Dijon (the city of the famous mustard) after groups of Chechens descended into town to take revenge after a 16-year-old Chechen boy was allegedly assaulted by a group of young Arabs.
The French citizens in various quartiers are locked into their homes as groups of angry youngsters duke it out on the streets.
A Chechen man tried to drive his car into a group of Arab youngsters, resulting in a spectacular crash yesterday. The video of that event is now going viral in France.
It however all started getting into overdrive when about 100 Chechens armed with baseball bats, guns and knives entered a local hookah bar on Friday, an popular spot for Arab youngsters. Some 12 people were left hurt after that.
Ever since then, the city has seen cat-and-mouse chases between groups of the various gangs that now roam the streets.
Several dozens of people claiming to be Chechens again went to the Grésilles district on Sunday again, armed mostly with iron bars.
The impressive group moved for a good part of the night in a procession of vehicles.
Its representatives told French journalists they wanted to settle a conflict with “dealers” who allegedly beat up a young Chechen a few days ago, a young man who was seriously injured.
“We are not here to kill people”
Among the Chechens are only men, rather young and rather courteous to journalists. Their only target, they say, are the Arab drug dealers. “They insulted us, they hit one of our people, we are here to beat them up,” said one of them. The speech is straightforward. The same man adds however:
“French law does not allow us to shoot people, we are not here to kill people”.
And one of the other Chechens added: “we didn’t want to annoy the Dijonnais, we are sorry, we scared people but it is better to be afraid than having a dead man at the bottom of the building next morning”.