‘Afghan asylum seeker’ knifeman launches rampage at bus stop in Lyon and kills a 19-year-old man on his way to a music festival and hurts nine others before being arrested
- Attacker lunged at bystanders in bus stop outside metro station in Villeurbane
- Of those who were injured three are believed to have been seriously wounded
- A 19-year-old man on his way to a music festival was stabbed to death in attack
- Video online purported to show passersby restraining 33-year-old perpetrator
Published: 17:13, 31 August 2019 | Updated: 20:36, 31 August 2019
A teenager has died and at least nine others are injured after a knifeman went on a stabbing spree in the French city of Lyon this afternoon.
Sultan Marmed Niazi, armed with a kitchen knife and metal spit, carried out the attack outside the Laurent-Bonnevay metro station in the city’s Villeurbanne region.
The 33-year-old, who is thought to be an Afghan immigrant, lunged at innocent bystanders waiting at a bus stop outside the station in broad daylight.
Of those injured three are believed to have been seriously wounded, while six suffered minor injuries.
The one fatality was a 19-year-old man waiting on a bus to a music festival on the outskirts of Lyon.
Video purporting to show attacker Sultan Marmed Niazi being restrained by passersby appeared on social media
He’s said to have lunged at innocent bystanders waiting at a bus stop outside a metro station
A huge emergency response at the Laurent-Bonnevay metro station in Villeurbanne, Lyon
The knifeman went on the rampage in broad daylight, killing one and injuring nine others
Initial reports from local officials suggested police were looking for a second man, but a police source and the prosecutor’s office subsequently said Niazi acted alone.
Niazi, who was videoed dropping his knife after the bloodbath, has offered ‘three conflicting reasons’ for what happened, but none are related to terrorist groups.
Disturbing videos posted on social media showed Niazi being arrested, and some of his victims.
A police source said: ‘He targeted a 19-year-old man, who died at the scene, while nine others were also hurt, three very seriously.
‘It seemed to be entirely random. The arrested man had been seen lashing out with at least one blade, and possibly two.
‘As the attack intensified he was jumped by four bus conductors who managed to get the kitchen knife off him. There were around 30 people at the scene.
The attack took pace near the Laurent-Bonnevay metro station in Lyon’s Villeurbanne region
Officers, who are yet to confirm the nature of the attack, have sealed off roads near the scene
A witness is comforted by friends in Villeurbanne on the outskirts of Lyon after the vicious attack
The kitchen knife and the sharp spit – used for roasting meat – were found at the scene by detectives.
The arrested man was not carrying an identity card, or any other documents, but he has said he is from Afghanistan.
The dead victim was a local man who was trying to catch a bus to the Woodstower Musical Festival, near Lyon.
Several of the city’s metro lines were shut down in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
There have been a number of terrorist attacks involving kitchen knives in France since 2015 – most of them carried out by supporters of Islamic State or Al Qaeda.
Last May a parcel bomb packed with screws and ball bearings exploded in the centre of Lyon, injuring 13 people.
A 24-year-old suspect who had been caught on CCTV and wearing a balaclava while pushing a bicycle was later arrested and then charged with ‘attempted terrorist murder’.
Mohamed Medjoub, who is of Algerian origin, told investigators he had pledged allegiance ‘in my heart of hearts’ to Islamic State.
His device contained traces of APEX, the compound used in the terrorist attacks on Paris on November 13 2015, when 130 people were killed by Islamic State operatives using Kalashnikovs and bombs.
RAID special forces police were involved in today’s on-going incident in Lyon, but France’s National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office has not yet declared it a terrorist incident.