Two women killed in terrorist attack in Marseille
Surveillance footage shows the attacker fleeing after stabbing his first victim, only to return to kill again.
Two women were stabbed to death on Sunday morning at Marseille’s main train station, Gare Saint-Charles. According to reports, the victims were seventeen and twenty years old. The incident is being treated as a terrorist attack.
An eye-witness said she saw a man take a knife from his sleeve and stab a young girl and a second woman before shouting “Allahu Akbar.” (God is greatest).
The attacker was said to be of North African appearance and in his twenties. French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb, who travelled to the scene of the incident, told reporters that the knifeman had several identities. Authorities confirm that he had a police record of petty offences.
Surveillance footage shows the attacker fleeing after stabbing his first victim, only to return to kill again. He then ran into soldiers who had arrived on the scene. He was subsequently shot and killed. Armed forces were in the vicinity, as part of Operation Sentinelle, where seven thousand combat troops patrol streets across the country to protect key tourist sites and high-risk areas such as transport hubs and religious buildings.
France remains on high alert following a series of terror attacks since January 2015. Many lives have been lost to jihadists in various regions, including Nice, Toulouse and Paris.
In his tribute to the soldiers and police who responded to Sunday’s attack, President Emmanuel Macron said he was disgusted by the “barbarous act”.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Following the incident, anti-terror prosecutors in Marseille said they had opened an investigation into “killings linked to a terrorist organisation”.