Police officers gather after a man wielding a knife attacked residents venturing out to shop in the town under lockdown, April 4, 2020 in Romans-sur-Isere, southern France. The alleged attacker was arrested by police nearby, shortly after the attack. Prosecutors did not identify him. (AP Photo)
A third person has been detained in a anti-terrorism investigation in France over a knife attack south of Lyon that left two people dead, authorities said Sunday.
The third arrest was made Saturday night, and that all three of the suspects are Sudanese, the French anti-terror prosecutor’s office said.
On Saturday, a man attacked residents with a knife in the small town of Romans-sur-Isere, injuring several people in addition to to the two fatalities. Residents, who were in lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, were carrying out their permitted daily food shopping.
France’s counter-terrorism prosecutor’s office said the assailant was arrested minutes after as he was kneeling on the sidewalk praying in Arabic. It said one of his acquaintances also was detained.
Prosecutors didn’t identify the suspect. They said he had no identification documents, but that he is Sudanese and was born in 1987.
During a subsequent search of his home, authorities found handwritten documents that included arguments about religion and a complaint about living in a “country of unbelievers.”
The prosecutor’s office didn’t confirm reports that the man shouted Allahu akbar, the Arabic phrase for God is great, as he stabbed and slashed people.