(Romans-sur-Isère) A man killed two people and wounded four others in France during a knife attack perpetrated on Saturday morning in the center of the town of Romans-sur-Isère, in the south- east of the country, in the middle of a confinement period linked to the COVID epidemic – 14.
Jeff PACHOUD with Katell PRIGENT in Paris
France Media Agency
Arrested to 11 h local ( 5 a.m.ET), the alleged perpetrator, who presents himself as a Sudanese refugee, attacked several people in a bakery, a tobacco shop and on the street, AFP learned from a source close to the investigation.
Three of the injured were seriously injured, according to this source. An initial assessment had reported seven wounded, including one between life and death.
The assailant says he was born in 1987 and is not known to the police French police under the identity he gave, according to the same source.
The judicial police in Lyon, in eastern France, are seized of the investigation. The French national anti-terrorist prosecution, in connection with the prosecution of the city of Valence (south-east), is “currently under evaluation” to know if it is seizing the investigation.
“All my thoughts are with the victims of the # RomansSurIsère attack and their families. The alleged perpetrator was arrested by the @PoliceNationale “, tweeted French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.
“The DIPJ of Lyon is mobilized, under the authority of Justice, to establish the nature and the circumstances of this heinous act,” he adds.
This attack comes while France lives under a constant terrorist threat since the wave of unprecedented jihadist attacks started in 2015.
Since the beginning of the year, the anti-terrorist justice system has seized an attack: on January 3, a young man converted to Islam and suffering from psychiatric disorders had attacked with a knife in a park in Villejuif (Paris region) walkers with “extreme determination”, before being shot by the police. One man was killed and two others injured in the attack.
In 2019 in France, the anti-terrorist justice was seized three times: during the knife attack on two prison warders in March by a radicalized prisoner, Michaël Chiolo, after the parcel bomb attack in front of a Lyon bakery in May, which had injured 14 people, and after the killing at the Paris police headquarters in early October.
With regard to this latest investigation, the anti-terrorist investigating judges have not yet been able to determine, to AFP's knowledge, the motivations of Mickaël Harpon, the suspected radicalization agent who killed at knife four of his colleagues before being shot.
The attack on the mosque of Bayonne (south-west), committed at the end of October 2019 by a A former far-right activist who injured two gunmen, was described as “terrorist” by the victims' lawyer, but the national anti-terrorist prosecution did not take up the case.
In more than four years, the wave of attacks in France has 256 Dead, if we include those from the police headquarters. In total, 60 attacks have been thwarted since 2013.
France is currently experiencing its third week of population containment to fight the coronavirus epidemic, which has caused the death of more than 2020 people in the country.