The man who stabbed two women to death Sunday in the French city of Marseille was known to authorities and is believed to be of Algerian origin, newspaper Le Parisien reports.
The suspect allegedly shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is great) before attacking civilians at the main train station in the city. Authorities are treating the incident as a likely terror attack and Islamic State claimed responsibility Sunday night.
The attacker stabbed one victim in the stomach and slit the other one’s throat. Soldiers at the scene shot him dead shortly after the stabbings.
Le Parisien claims the suspect is of Algerian origin. He has reportedly been investigated for a number of smaller crimes dating back to 2005 using several different identities. The man was not listed as a potential terrorist by authorities. His exact identity and age is still being verified, the newspaper added.
Renaud Muselier, the regional president, praised soldiers and police for their quick response during the attack.
“We have generally avoided these sort of attacks in Marseille,” Muselier said, according to AFP. “I think the security services responded extremely quickly. It’s difficult to do more because when you see the distance between the two bodies and the attacker, it’s only 10 metres, so they intervened quickly.”
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