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CRIME

One dead in Lyon after ‘frenzied’ knife and skewer rampage

A man wielding a skewer and knife went on the rampage in the French city of Lyon on Saturday, leaving a 19-year-old man dead and eight others injured, including three critically.

One dead  in Lyon after 'frenzied' knife and skewer rampage
Police officers look for evidence in front of a pharmacy in Villeurbanne on the outskirts of Lyon. Photo: Phillippe Desmazes/AFP
A police source said the alleged perpetrator was an Afghan asylum-seeker, unknown previously to both the police and the intelligence services.
 
An eye-witness in Villeurbanne, a suburb of Lyon, described the attack as frenzied.
   
“There was a man at the 57 (bus stop) who started striking out with a knife in all directions,” said a young girl whose top was stained with blood.
   
“He managed to hit, to cut open one person's stomach,” she said. “He stabbed a guy in the head, he cut the ear of a lady and the lady was dying at the bus stop and no-one came to help,” she added, sobbing.
   
She eventually managed to get the woman on a bus, which closed its doors and drove away from the scene.
   
“There was blood everywhere,” she added.
   
Of the eight people wounded in the attack, three were in a critical condition, said the prosecutor's office. Paramedics treated another 20 people at the scene for shock.
 
'Deadly madness'
 
The mayor of Lyon Gerard Collomb, a former interior minister, visited the site of the attack but in comments to journalists would not be drawn on what had provoked it. The man who carried out the attack had acted quite suddenly, he said.
   
The mayor of Villeurbanne, Jean-Paul Bret, paid tribute to people at the scene and security staff at the nearby metro station who overpowered the suspect as he tried to make his escape.
   
Police arrested the suspected attacker and were holding him in custody on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, the Lyon prosecutor's office told AFP.
   
The reasons for the attack were still not clear. The national anti-terrorism prosecutor's office had been informed but had not taken charge of the case at this stage.
   
Reacting to the attack, Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Rally, posted a tweet saying “the naivety and laxity of our migration policy seriously threatens the safety of the French people”.
   
A group representing the region's mosques also issued a statement roundly condemning the killing and the “deadly madness that inhabits those who try to sow hatred and violence”.
   
Last May, a parcel bomb in front of a baker's shop in central Lyon slightly injured 14 people.
   
The perpetrator, a young radicalised Algerian, who was arrested three days later, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, according to his confession.
   
Lyon, France's third city, had until then remained untouched by the wave of jihadist attacks that have killed 251 people in France since 2015.

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PARIS

Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

Paris police on Tuesday fished a man out of the Seine river, which he jumped into after he rammed a car into a Valentino store and robbed dozens of luxury handbags.

Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

The 24-year-old suspect smashed into the store around 2am on the high-end Rue Saint-Honoré, a police source said.

He grabbed as many as 30 luxury handbags and other items before attempting to flee in the car.

The man then failed to stop when a police patrol gave chase after spotting him near the central Paris Opéra.

He abandoned the car on Place de la Concorde at the end of the Champs-Elysées, the police source said, before plunging into the nearby river Seine.

But river police quickly fished him out and placed him under arrest.

A source familiar with the case said that the “entirety” of the stolen items had been found.

A second source told AFP that “around 30” handbags – which Valentino lists on its website at between €1,000 and €3,000 – were found in his car.

The suspect now faces an investigation for charges including aggravated robbery and refusal to comply with police, Paris prosecutors said.

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