French photographer seriously injured in the attack when he covered youth violence

Authorities in France have launched an investigation into attempted murder after a news photographer was attacked and seriously injured when they reported a suspected outbreak of youth violence in the northeastern city of Reims, his newspaper said.

The newspaper L’Union said on Sunday that Christian Lantenois, 65, was in a serious but stable condition at a hospital in Reims.

The photographer was attacked on Saturday when he covered reports that young people, some apparently armed with metal rods and golf clubs, had gathered in a sector of high-rise buildings in the city, the newspaper said.

He appeared to have been hit in the head by a projectile, the newspaper said.

The newspaper said that Lantenois had driven to the neighborhood in a car with the newspaper’s name and appeared to have been attacked for being a journalist.

The Reims prosecutor’s office is investigating the attack as an assassination attempt, L’Union said.

News of the attack led to outrage on Sunday, with Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot condemning a “cowardly attack”.

“To target a journalist is to threaten what we love: our freedom,” tweeted Gérard Larcher, head of the Senate.

President Emmanuel Macron’s office said the Élysée Palace had called L’Union to express its support.

Saturday’s event comes with concerns about reports of an increased collision between rival youth gangs in parts of the country.

Earlier this week, two teenagers were stabbed to death in as many days in separate clashes between young people in the Essonne department, south of Paris.

( Jowharwith AP)