A knife attack took 2 lives and wounded 5 others in south-east France. The interior minister called it a terrorist incident.
According to the witnesses, the attacker stabbed the owners and a customer after entering a tobacconist in the town of Romans-sur-Isère.
Sources said that he had attacked more people at two other shops. He was later arrested.
Prosecutors claimed that the suspect attacker was in his 30s and was a Sudanese refugee.
Prosecutors said that the man was “found on his knees on the pavement praying in Arabic” at the time he was being arrested.
David Olivier Reverdy, of the National Police Alliance union, reported that the man had asked the police to kill him.
Counter-terrorism prosecutors said that an investigation has been launched into “murder linked to a terrorist enterprise”.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said: “This morning, a man embarked on a terrorist journey.”
The butcher’s shop owner, Ludovic Breyton, said: “He took a knife, jumped over the counter, and stabbed a customer, then ran away. My wife tried to help the victim but in vain.”
The prosecutor’s office said initial investigations notified that the attacker had “a determined murderous course aimed at seriously disturbing public order by intimidation or terror”.
French President Emmanuel Macron said in a tweet, “My thoughts are with the victims of the Romans-sur-Isère attack, the injured, their families. All the light will be shed on this odious act which comes to mourn our country already hard hit in recent weeks”.
Mes pensées accompagnent les victimes de l'attaque de Romans-sur-Isère, les blessés, leurs familles. Toute la lumière sera faite sur cet acte odieux qui vient endeuiller notre pays déjà durement éprouvé ces dernières semaines.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 4, 2020