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Knife attack at French railway station "could be of terrorist nature": minister

(Xinhua)    09:29, October 02, 2017
Knife attack at French railway station
People are evacuated to a street near the Marseille Saint Charles railway station after an attack in Marseille, southern France, Oct. 1, 2017. Two passers-by were stabbed to death on Sunday at a central Marseille railway station by a knifeman, who was shot dead by security forces, French media reported. (Xinhua/Si Tu)

PARIS, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb on Sunday said the knife attack at a railway station in France's Marseille could be of "terrorist nature," but called for caution as probe was underway to identify the attacker and determine his motives.

"This act could be of terrorist nature. But at this time we can not confirm it," Collomb said after visiting the site of the assault in Marseille, southeastern France.

Collomb denounced the "awful act" which left "two young victims," when a man with a knife killed two women on Sunday afternoon in Saint Charles railway station in Marseille.

He rushed at military officers who were patrolling the zone and tried to attack them in the station's public square before being shot and seriously wounded. He succumbed to his wounds in the scene.

A counter-terrorism inquiry was launched "to identify the individual and the murdered people," the minister added.

Local media reported the man shouted "Allahu Akbar" as he carried out the assault. He was around 20 years old and known to police for public offenses including robbery and drug trafficking.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he was "deeply indignant about this barbaric act." He hailed on Twitter soldiers' "calmness and efficiency."

Risks of terror attacks remain high in France where emergency security laws have been imposed in 2015 after about 130 people were killed and 350 others were injured in a series of explosions and shootings claimed by the Islamic State.

French lawmakers are scheduled to vote on Oct. 3 disputed anti-terrorism law which will turn some emergency rules to law.


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