The police officers had been called to Grigny, south of Paris, after two people vandalised a baker's shop. On arrival they were confronted by about 30 people, of whom several were armed, the ministry said in a statement.
Three police officers were hit in the face by lead shot and treated on site. A fourth was hospitalised after being wounded in the leg by shot and nails.
About 60 police were injured in clashes in a suburb to the north of Paris last November -- violence that reawakened memories of weeks of rioting in 2005 during which youths in poor French suburbs torched thousands of cars.
French police carried out raids in mid-February, arresting more than 30 people they suspected of being involved in November's clashes.
A ministry official told Reuters the policemen attacked in Grigny had called for reinforcements and that none of them had fired on their assailants. The attackers had quickly disappeared when more police officers had arrived, he added.
Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie "called for all means to be used to identify, apprehend, and bring to justice the authors of these criminal acts," the ministry said.
Source: Reuters (English)