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25.05.2019 Europe

French Police Chases Suspect After Lyon Bomb Attack

REUTERS/Emmanuel Foudrot
MAY 25, 2019 EUROPE

French police continue the hunt for a suspect following an explosion in a pedestrian street in the heart of the south-eastern city of Lyon. More than a dozen people were injured, none of them seriously.

French President Emmanuel Macron described Friday evening's explosion as an "attack" and sent the interior minister, Christophe Castaner, to Lyon.

Police issued an appeal for witnesses as they sought the suspect, a man believed to be in his early 30s on a mountain bicycle caught on security cameras in the area immediately before the explosion.

An image of the man, wearing light coloured shorts and a long-sleeved dark top, was posted. He was described as "dangerous".

The blast appeared to have originated in a package containing screws or bolts, according to local police.

The country's justice minister, Nicole Belloubet, told BFM television it was too soon to say whether the blast was a "terrorist act".

The number of wounded stood at 13 people, with 11 taken to hospitals. None of the injuries was life-threatening.

The attack upset last-minute campaigning ahead of the European Parliament vote on Sunday, with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe cancelling his appearance at his centrist party's final rally Friday night.

A terrorism investigation has been opened by the Paris prosecutor's office.