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Romans-sur-Isère: Two killed and others wounded in France knife attack

French Police officers wearing protective suits stand in a street in the centre of Romans-sur-Isere, on 4 April 2020 Image copyright AFP Image caption Police suspect there may have been a terrorist motive behind the attack in Romans-sur-Isère

Two people have been killed and five wounded in a knife attack in south-east France, in what the interior minister described as a terrorist incident.

Witnesses said the attacker entered a tobacconist in the town of Romans-sur-Isère, near Grenoble, and stabbed the owners and a customer.

He then went to a nearby butcher's shop and attacked more people.

A suspect, described in French media as a 33-year-old man from Sudan, has been arrested.

At the time of his arrest, the attacker was "found on his knees on the pavement praying in Arabic", prosecutors said.

The man was not known to the police or intelligence services, news website France Bleu reported.

The motive for the attack remains unclear, but Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said during a visit to the town: "This morning, a man embarked on a terrorist journey."

Mr Castaner said it would be up to the National Counter-Terrorism Prosecutor's Office to establish whether the attacker acted alone. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption President Macron described the attack as an "odious" incident

In a statement, the prosecutor's office said initial investigations suggest the attacker had "a determined murderous course aimed at seriously disturbing public order by intimidation or terror".

During a search of the suspect's home, "handwritten documents with religious connotations were found", it said.

Prosecutors said they made an arrest of a second person on Saturday who, according to France Bleu, was living with the attacker.

Two of the wounded are said to be in a critical condition.

President Emmanuel Macron described the attack as an "odious" incident that further saddened a country already going through an ordeal.

"My thoughts are with the victims of the Romans-sur-Isère attack - the injured, their families," he tweeted.

Mr Macron promised that "light will be shed" on the crime.
Skip Twitter post by @EmmanuelMacron

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
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End of Twitter post by @EmmanuelMacron{#jump-linkhttps://twitter.com/EmmanuelMacron/status/1246421739963396099}

France is currently in lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic. People are only allowed out to buy basic necessities or for exercise.

The country has been on high alert since 2015, when Paris was hit by a series of attacks attributed to the Islamic State group.

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