Two killed and others injured in knife attack in south-east France

  • Two killed and others injured in knife attack in south-east France

Two killed and others injured in knife attack in south-east France

A man wielding a knife attacked residents venturing out to shop in a town under lockdown south of the French city of Lyon Saturday, killing two people and wounding others, prosecutors said.

The attack took place at a shopping centre and on a road in Romans-sur-Isere before police apprehended the man at 11:00 am local time.

"Preliminary investigations have revealed a determined murderous course aimed at seriously disturbing public order by intimidation or terror", the prosecutor's office said in the statement.

The mayor of the town said the victims were attacked as they queued up outside a shop. He requested the police who arrested him to "kill him", BFMTV quoted David Olivier Reverdy, deputy nationwide secretary of Alliance-Police.

Media reported that the attacker first went into a tobacco shop and stabbed the tobacconist and two customers, before attacking several other people in the vicinity of that shop and a nearby bakery.

He then walked out and began stabbing people in the street.

"My wife tried to help the victim but in vain".

At least one person was severely injured, a source told AFP. The suspect was not already familiar to the police or intelligence authorities.

A search of the assailant's home turned up writings "of a religious connotation in which the author complains, above all, of living in a country of infidels", Efe news quoted the office as saying.

An initial interrogation was delayed as he was very agitated. A psychological evaluation was scheduled for yesterday.

French President Emmanuel Macron used the messaging service Twitter to decry the attack as "an odious act".

France is in its third week of a national lockdown over COVID-19, with all but essential businesses ordered to shut and people told to stay at home.

The country has been on high alert since 2015, when Paris was hit by a series of attacks attributed to the Islamic State group.