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CRIME

Suspect held over spate of student rapes in Lyon

French police said a suspect was being held in custody in connection with a series of sexual assaults carried out at knife point against five female students in a Lyon neighborhood.

Suspect held over spate of student rapes in Lyon
Police arrest suspect in connection with a series of sexual assaults on students in Lyon. Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP

The suspect appeared before prosecutors on Sunday and authorities are awaiting the results of DNA tests in connection with the series of rapes in Lyon’s 8th arrondissement, regional newspaper Le Progres reported.

The attacks, that took place between October 2012 and February 2013, provoked widespread fear in the community and prompted university officials to warn 30,000 local students against going out alone at night.

“We ask you to be careful when you are going from one place to another. Please do not go out unaccompanied and stay vigilant. This especially concerns female students,” wrote Jacques Comby, President of the University Lyon III at the time.

The modus operandi of the attacker and the location ofthe attacks persuaded police that they were looking for one lone assailant. 

In each of five attacks, all of which occurred around midnight, the assailant threatened the victim with a knife or box cutter. Police said the hooded attacker cut some of the victims.

His victims were all believed to be in their twenties.

The last reported attack took place at the end of January 2013.

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CRIME

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

French Border police at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris shot - and killed - man who was wielding a knife in the public area of the airport on Wednesday.

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

Border police reportedly shot a man with aggressive behaviour who brandished a knife in the public area of the Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris, on Wednesday morning, police and airport sources told AFP.

“This morning officers neutralised a threatening individual in possession of a knife at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport,” the Paris police department said on its Twitter account.

A source close to the investigation told BFMTV that the man – who was likely homeless – went towards the officers, despite being asked several times to put the knife down. In response, police shot the man in the abdomen, and the individual later died.

The incident took place in the busy, public area of terminal 2F around 8:20 am, when “a homeless man started bothering security agents and border police were called in to remove him”.

Initially the man left while yelling curses but he soon returned and brought out a knife, when one of the officers fired his weapon.

An AFP photographer who witnessed the scene said “a large person of colour brandished something that looked like a knife at the police”.

“He was ordered to stop but kept advancing toward them, and an officer fired a single shot.”

The man was quickly put on a stretcher and evacuated, the photographer said. 

Security forces have been on high alert for terrorist attacks since a wave of jihadist killings that have killed more than 250 people since 2015, often by so-called “lone wolves” who often target police.

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