Knifeman in France kills 2 in attack, terrorist investigation opened | KSNF / KODE

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PARIS (AP) – Man wielding knife attacked residents of French city as they ventured to shop in the middle of a nationwide coronavirus lock on Saturday, killing two and injuring five others in an act which led the authorities to open an investigation into terrorism.

The French anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office declared that the aggressor had been arrested near the place of the attack in the town of Romans-sur-Isère, south of Lyon, while he was kneeling on the sidewalk in praying in Arabic. He said that one of his acquaintances had also been arrested.

Police are patrolling after a man wielding a knife attacked residents who ventured out to shop in the locked out city on Saturday April 4, 2020 in Romans-sur-Isère, in the south of France. The alleged attacker was arrested by nearby police shortly after the attack. Prosecutors have not identified him. They said he had no papers but claimed to be Sudanese and to have been born in 1987. (AP Photo)

Prosecutors have not identified the suspect. They said that he did not have identity papers but claimed to be Sudanese and to have been born in 1987.

In a subsequent search of his home, authorities found handwritten documents containing arguments about religion and a complaint regarding life in a “land of unbelievers,” officials said.

The prosecutor’s office has not confirmed reports that the man shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is great) when he stabbed and cut people.

Like all the French population, the inhabitants of Romans-sur-Isère were ordered to stay at home with a few exceptions. The victims were shopping for food, one of the authorized outdoor activities, on the street where there are bakeries and grocery stores, the prosecution said.

French media reported that the knife attacked a man who had just left his home for a daily walk for the first time – cutting his throat in front of the victim’s girlfriend and son.

The assailant then entered a tobacco store, stabbed the tobacconist and two customers, and then entered the local butcher’s shop, according to French reports. He grabbed another knife and attacked a customer with a blunt end before entering a supermarket, media reports said.

Police are investigating after a man brandishing a knife attacked residents who happened to be shopping in the locked out city on Saturday April 4, 2020 in Romans-sur-Isère, in the south of France. The alleged attacker was arrested by nearby police shortly after the attack. Prosecutors have not identified him. They said he had no papers but claimed to be Sudanese and to have been born in 1987. (AP Photo)

Some buyers took refuge in a nearby bakery.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner arrived on the scene in the city south of Lyon in a few hours and thanked the traders for their help.

About 100 police and 45 firefighters were involved in the operation and securing the area, authorities said.

There have been a number of knife attacks in France in recent months. In January, French police shot and wounded a man in Metz who was brandishing a knife and shouting “Allahu akbar”.

Two days earlier, another man had been shot dead by the police after having fatally stabbed one person and wounded two others in a Paris suburb.

It is not known if the suspect in the Saturday attack had psychological problems or ties to extremism. Analysts say some extremist groups see the upset of the virus pandemic as an opportunity to gain more supporters.

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