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France Lyon: Police arrest suspects in parcel bomb attack

From BBC

AFP Image caption The device, full of screws, nuts and bolts, went off in Lyon city centre last week

French police have arrested four people after a suspected parcel bomb exploded in Lyon last week, injuring 13 people.

The device, packed with screws and ball bearings, detonated outside a bakery on Friday afternoon.

One of those arrested, a 24-year-old man, is the suspected bomber, prosecutors say. Another man and a woman were also reportedly detained.

Police had been hunting for a man seen cycling near the scene of the blast wearing a balaclava and rucksack.

Anti-terrorist prosecutors are leading the investigation, co-ordinating with Lyon police and France’s internal security service, the DGSI.

What do we know about the suspects?

French media report that one suspect is an IT student of Algerian nationality. A source told news agency Reuters that police arrested him in Lyon after tailing him in the street. It reportedly decided not to arrest him in his apartment in case there were explosives in the building.

The second suspect, according to local press, is a minor who attends a school in the city.

Two other people, a man and a woman, have also been arrested. They are reportedly the parents of one of the suspects.

Last week, police released a picture from CCTV footage of a person they believe carried out the bombing.

Police handout
Image captionPolice called for information on this man after the blast

What do we know about the attack?

The explosion struck near the corner of two crowded pedestrian streets in Lyon’s historic city centre.

Investigators have recovered screws, ball bearings, along with a printed circuit, batteries and a remote-controlled trigger device.

Denis Broliquier, the city’s district mayor, told press that “the charge was too small to kill,” and a government source told AFP news agency it had been a “relatively weak explosive charge”.

Those hurt, including a girl aged eight, appear to have suffered superficial injuries.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner confirmed one of the arrests in a Tweet on Monday, saying joint action by several agencies had been “decisive”.

No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The last time a parcel bomb had exploded in France was in 2007 when a device killed one person and injured another in front of a law office in Paris. Police never found the bomber.

Jihadist gun and bomb attacks have killed more than 250 people in France since 2015 and the country remains on high alert, with military patrols a regular feature of security in cities including Lyon.

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