News World News

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Four arrested over Lyon bomb attack

No group has claimed responsibility.

Police search a suspect’s home following a blast in Lyon (Laurent Cipriani/AP)
Police search a suspect’s home following a blast in Lyon (Laurent Cipriani/AP)

By Samuel Petrequin, Associated Press

French police have arrested four suspects following a blast in Lyon that injured 13 people.

TV footage showed a police operation under way on Monday in a small town outside Lyon involving officers wearing ski masks

Police had launched a large manhunt after a device exploded on Friday on a busy pedestrian street in France’s third-largest city.

Interior minister Christophe Castaner announced the first arrest on Twitter, a development later confirmed by Paris prosecutors, who handle terrorism-related cases.

If there was a network, it has been identified and will certainly be dismantled Lyon mayor Gerard Collomb

The prosecutors’ office later said three other suspects, including a woman, were detained. According to French media, they included the mother and the brother of the main suspect.

Lyon mayor Gerard Collomb, a former interior minister, said one of the suspects is an IT student who was arrested as he stepped off a bus.

“It’s a relief for all Lyon inhabitants. I believe the case has been resolved,” Mr Collomb told BFM TV. “If there was a network, it has been identified and will certainly be dismantled.”

French president Emmanuel Macron has called the explosion an “attack” but no group has claimed responsibility. An investigation has been opened for “attempted murder in relation with a terrorist undertaking”.

ipanews_ba4f416a-4a43-4476-a170-7cf91d5a94c9_embedded243099685
Scene of the attack in Lyon (Sebastien Erome/AP)

Last week, France’s counter-terrorism prosecutor, Remy Heitz, described video surveillance that showed a suspect heading towards the centre of Lyon on a bicycle on Friday afternoon. The man was seen arriving on foot, pushing his bike along a pedestrian-only street, then leaving a paper bag on a concrete block in the middle of the street near a bakery.

The suspect immediately returned to his bike and left the same way. One minute later, the explosion shattered the glass of a refrigerator in the bakery, Mr Heitz said. Regional authorities said the 13 wounded suffered mostly minor injuries.

It was unclear whether the suspect first arrested Monday was the same person, although Mr Collomb said the detained student was identified thanks to video surveillance.

Investigators at the scene have found screws, ball bearings, batteries, a triggering device that can be used remotely and plastic pieces that may have come from the explosive device.

France has been hit by a spate of attacks in recent years, some of them deadly, carried out by people ranging from extremist attackers to mentally unstable individuals.

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News