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Lyon knife attack suspect in 'psychotic state', French prosecutor says
As expected - from France 24
An Afghan man was in a "psychotic state" and on drugs during a multiple stabbing in France that killed one person and injured eight others, but investigators haven't found any terrorist ties, a regional prosecutor said Sunday.
He was found in public records with two identities and three different dates of birth, making him either 33, 31 or 27-years-old, prosecutor Nicolas Jacquet told a news conference in Lyon on Sunday.
During "confused" interviews with police, he said he was Muslim "who had heard voices saying God had been insulted and instructing him to kill", Jacquet said, adding that the case was being treated as a criminal, rather than terrorist, incident.
Jacquet said the knifeman had been first registered in France in 2009 as a minor, but travelled to Germany, Norway, Britain and Italy before returning to France in 2016 where he was granted temporary residency rights. Police raided his room in an asylum-seekers' centre following the stabbings.
Jacquet paid tribute to three bus drivers and other members of the public who had succeeded in cornering the man and persuading him to drop his knife and a meat skewer before the police arrived on the scene. Abdelkader, one of the bus drivers who came to their aid, said he saw the assailant head towards the metro and instinctively challenged him as he repeatedly slashed at one victim. "His face was expressionless -- you felt he was stabbing away just for the sake of it,"
Sofiane, a 17-year-old from the area, told AFP on Sunday that the dead man was one of the first to try to reason with the knifeman. The killer "stabbed him and then when he fell on the ground, he continued", Sofiane explained. The dead man was a teenage boy on his way to a music festival; I cannot imagine how his parents must be grieving.
Far-right figurehead Marine Le Pen meanwhile led criticism of what she termed "the laxity of migration policy" in France which she said was "a serious threat to the safety of French people". The mayor of Villeurbanne, Jean-Paul Bret from the Socialist party, accused Le Pen and others on the right and far-right of "exploiting things politically". The truth often hurts.