French explosion: Number of injured rises to 13 as police search for suspect
French police were on Saturday hunting a suspect believed to have deposited a paper bag containing an explosive device that went off, wounding 13 people in a busy pedestrian street in the city of Lyon the previous day.
France’s counter-terrorism prosecutor, Remy Heitz, said an investigation has been opened for “attempted murderer in relation with a terrorist undertaking” and “criminal terrorist association.”
He said no group has claimed responsibility for the explosion yet.
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Regional authorities said 13 people suffered mostly minor injuries, including 11 who were still in the hospital on Saturday morning.
French President Emmanuel Macron called the explosion an “attack” during a live interview Friday about the European Parliament elections that run through Sunday.
Heitz described video surveillance that show the suspect heading toward Lyon city centre on a bike Friday afternoon.
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The man was seen arriving on foot, pushing his bike, in the pedestrian Victor Hugo street. He was seen leaving a paper bag on a concrete block in the middle of the street near a bakery, Heitz said.
The suspect immediately returned to his bike and left by the same path. One minute later, the explosion shattered the glass of a cooler in the bakery, Heitz said.
Investigators on the scene have found screws, metallic balls, a triggering device that can be used remotely and plastic pieces that may come from the explosive device.
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Police issued an appeal for witnesses Saturday with a photo of the suspect, described as “dangerous”, caught on video surveillance.
Heitz said police will release more photos soon. The man was wearing a cap and sunglasses partially hiding his face.
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