(Illustration) AK 47 Kalashnikov rifle
(Illustration) AK 47 Kalashnikov rifle Flash 90

Hooded men opened fire on police in Marseilles, France on Monday afternoon, reportedly with Kalashnikov AK-47 rifles. 

The La Castellane neighborhood, a housing project known for its high levels of drug use and violent crime, is currently on lockdown, according to ABC News, as police asses the situation. Some 7,000 people reside in the area.

Conflicting reports have emerged on whether or not there were any injuries from the attack - and whether the gunmen were specifically targeting police. 

Police union official David Olivier Reverdy told local radio that no officers were injured, and that the police had not been specifically targeted; but regional senator Samia Ghali told iTele that police had been the prime target - and that the gunmen had also been firing at random. 

The shooting erupted just as French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was due to visit the area to give talks on security and education, according to the Globe and Mail. It is unclear whether his visit has been cancelled. 

France has been on high alert this month, after 2014 saw a record rise in anti-Semitic attacks and after the Paris terror spree in January that left a total of 17 people dead.

Last week, a knife-wielding man attacked three soldiers outside a Jewish center in Nice, injuring two of them; he was later identified as 30-year-old Moussa Coulibaly. 

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