Shots fired at French police in housing project outside Marseille

Hooded gunmen reportedly fired on French police in the northern suburbs of the Mediterranean port city of Marseille Monday ahead of a visit by the country's Prime Minister.

There were no immediate reports on possible casualties. Reuters reported that elite troops were being sent to the scene. The French newspaper Le Figaro reported that the shooting involved two small gangs using Kalashnikov AK-47s. 

The shooting took place in a town called La Castellane known for drug trafficking. Marseille and the surrounding area is home to a large population of immigrants, many from France's former colonies in North Africa. The city's northern suburbs are home to particularly notorious housing projects, which are plagued by high unemployment, high crime, and heavy drug use. 

The shooting took place two days after the one month anniversary of a deadly terror attack at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Two brothers killed 12 people, including eight magazine staffers, in retaliation for the magazine's depiction of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.

In the wake of the attack, Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced that France's Socialist government would spend $490 million on counter-terrorism over the next three years. Valls also said he would introduce a measure to make it easier to tap phones and said 3,000 people with ties to France will be monitored by anti-terror surveillance agents at home and abroad.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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