An Afghan man who was seeking asylum in France has been arrested in connection with a Saturday knife attack that left one person dead and other victims in critical condition late Saturday.
The attack took place at about 4:30 p.m. in Villeurbanne, which is near Lyon, Fox News reported.
“There was a man at the 57 [bus stop] who started striking out with a knife in all directions,” The (U.K.) Guardian quoted a witness it did not name as saying.
The report said the witness was a young girl with a blood-stained top.
“There was blood everywhere,” she said.
Villeurbanne Mayor Jean-Paul Bret said witnesses and security staff at a nearby metro station overpowered the attacker, who tried to flee the scene.
The attacker was armed with a kitchen knife and metal spit, police said,
Police did not reveal the name of the 33-year-old Afghan citizen who was detained. The U.K. Daily Mail gave his name as Sultan Marmed Niazi.
France has been plagued by terrorist attacks in recent years and even forced to put up an anti-terrorism barrier around the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris.
It has also witnessed protests of its asylum policies by illegal immigrants and activists.
However, police said the man was not previously known to police, according to the reports. The National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office has not labeled the attack as a terrorist incident.
No motive for the attack was known. The attacker gave multiple reasons for the attack, but police were not certain which, if any, were true, according to reports.
In its report, the Daily Mail said a police source it did not name said the attacker “targeted a 19-year-old man, who died at the scene, while nine others were also hurt, three very seriously.”
Other accounts put the number of wounded at eight.
The source said the attack “seemed to be entirely random.
The arrested man had been seen lashing out with at least one blade, and possibly two.”
“As the attack intensified, he was jumped by four bus conductors who managed to get the kitchen knife off him,” the Daily Mail quoted its source as saying.
“I am extremely shocked by the attack that has just occurred in the Lyon area during which one person died and several others [were] injured, some seriously,” Lyon Mayor Gerard Collomb tweeted in a French-language message.
The man is being held on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.
A statement from local mosques condemned the “deadly madness that inhabits those who try to sow hatred and violence.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.