Afghan killer sparks far-right criticism in France

Police are treating the case, which left one individual lifeless and eight injured, as a prison, quite than a terrorist, incident (AFP Picture/PHILIPPE DESMAZES)

Lyon (AFP) – An Afghan asylum-seeker who killed a person and stabbed a number of others within the French metropolis of Lyon sparked a row about immigration on Sunday as new particulars emerged about his rampage.

Investigators stated the killer appeared to have psychological issues and had smoked massive portions of hashish earlier than stabbing the 19-year-old man to loss of life and injuring eight others on Saturday afternoon at a bus station within the Villeurbanne suburb.

He was present in public data with two identities and three completely different dates of start, making him both 33, 31 or 27-years-old, prosecutor Nicolas Jacquet advised a information convention in Lyon on Sunday.

Throughout “confused” interviews with police, he stated he was Muslim “who had heard voices saying God had been insulted and instructing him to kill,” Jacquet stated, including that the case was being handled as a prison, quite than terrorist, incident.

Jacquet paid tribute to a few bus drivers and different members of the general public who had succeeded in cornering the person and persuading him to drop his knife and a meat skewer earlier than the police arrived on the scene.

“I wish to pay tribute to the actions of witnesses. Their brave and managed intervention was decisive in ending these prison acts,” he added.

Sofiane, a 17-year-old from the world, advised AFP on Sunday that the lifeless man was one of many first to attempt to cause with the knifeman.

The killer “stabbed him after which when he fell on the bottom, he continued,” Sofiane defined.

A younger woman, nonetheless in shock at having witnessed the assault, advised AFP: “A person on the 57 (bus) cease began stabbing individuals left, proper and centre.”

“No one got here to assist so I threw myself on her (one of many victims) to guard her to forestall him stabbing her once more,” stated the woman, who lastly managed to assist the lady into the bus.

Abdelkader, one of many bus drivers who got here to their assist, stated he noticed the assailant head in direction of the metro and instinctively challenged him as he repeatedly slashed at one sufferer.

– ‘Expressionless’ –

“His face was expressionless — you felt he was stabbing away only for the sake of it,” stated Abdelkader.

On Sunday, he admitted to feeling “worse and worse — many flashbacks are coming again to me,” prosecutor Jacquet stated.

Far-right figurehead Marine Le Pen in the meantime led criticism of what she termed “the laxity of migration coverage” in France which she stated was “a severe menace to the protection of French individuals.”

– Exploitation? –

Jacquet stated the knifeman had been first registered in France in 2009 as a minor, however travelled to Germany, Norway, Britain and Italy earlier than returning to France in 2016 the place he was granted non permanent residency rights.

Police raided his room in an asylum-seekers’ centre following the stabbings.

The mayor of Villeurbanne, Jean-Paul Bret from the Socialist occasion, accused Le Pen and others on the proper and far-right of “exploiting issues politically.”

“It is the basic response from the far-right which tries to show a dramatic occasion to its benefit,” he advised the RTL radio station.

He additionally reminded Le Pen that providing asylum to individuals fleeing battle in locations comparable to Afghanistan was a global responsibility that France revered.

France has been the sufferer of a string of Islamist-inspired terror assaults since 2015 which have price a whole lot of lives.

Two of the eight injured victims remained in hospital on Sunday, however none was in intensive care, Jacquet stated.

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