Marseille train station attack: Knifeman shot dead by army after stabbing two women to death

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A KNIFEMAN stabbed two women to death before being gunned down by soldiers at a train station in Marseille today.

One victim was slashed in the stomach and the other had her throat slit at Saint Charles station as the attacker shouted “Allahu Akbar”, according to a police source.

 Panic unfolded at Marseille's main station after a knifeman slit a woman's throat and stabbed another in the stomach

Panic unfolded at Marseille’s main station after a knifeman slit a woman’s throat and stabbed another in the stomach
 A forensic official works around a body covered by a white sheet outside Saint Charles station

AP:Associated Press
A forensic official works around a body covered by a white sheet outside Saint Charles station
​Passengers forced to leave their trains after knifeman shot dead by police ‘after killing two people’ in Gare de Marseille-Saint-Charles station in Marseille

Cops scrambled to the scene in southern France at around 2pm local time, sparking an immediate mass evacuation.

Confirming the injuries and fatalities, Oliver de Mazieres, a local official, said: “Two victims have been stabbed to death”.

Neither have yet been identified, and nor has their killer, who was in his late 20s and believed to be living locally.

“The attack was frenzied,” said an investigating source. “The man first shouted threats, and then launched into the two women.

“The two were killed by a knife, and then soldiers on anti-terrorism duties intervened. They shot the man dead. At least one large butcher’s knife was used by the attacker.”

The servicemen were part of Operation Sentinel, a wide-ranging security initiative that has flooded French streets with soldiers.

Gare de Marseille-Saint-Charles station in Marseille evacuated as a major police operation takes place
 Police investigators work outside the Saint Charles train station after French soldiers shot and killed a knifeman

AFP or licensors
Police investigators work outside the Saint Charles train station after French soldiers shot and killed a knifeman
 Two women were stabbed to death outside the city's biggest station today

AP:Associated Press
Two women were stabbed to death outside the city’s biggest station today
 The area surrounding St Charles station has been cordoned off as forensics assess the scene

Reuters
The area surrounding St Charles station has been cordoned off as forensics assess the scene
 The station was evacuated at around 2pm today after an attacker allegedly screamed 'Allahu Akbar'

AFP or licensors
The station was evacuated at around 2pm today after an attacker allegedly screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’
 Emergency services and military swarmed the scene in the southern French city today

AFP or licensors
Emergency services and military swarmed the scene in the southern French city today
 Armed police and soldiers lock down the area around the station

AFP or licensors
Armed police and soldiers lock down the area around the station
 Travellers were prevented from entering the station as a cordon was set up in the wake of the attack

Reuters
Travellers were prevented from entering the station as a cordon was set up in the wake of the attack
 French soldiers shot the knifeman to death after two women were savagely killed

AP:Associated Press
French soldiers shot the knifeman to death after two women were savagely killed
 Local police confirmed two women were murdered during the afternoon onslaught

AP:Associated Press
Local police confirmed two women were murdered during the afternoon onslaught
 Cops rushed to evacuate commuters out of the busy station in southern France

Zack Ismaili‏
Cops rushed to evacuate commuters out of the busy station in southern France
French security services shot dead a man at Marseille train station after he attacked people with a knife

Police sources claimed the incident is likely to be a terror attack, although this is yet to be confirmed.

Locals were urged to stay away from the area, with the scene described as as a “major police incident”.

“There was screaming and shouting, and people were running everywhere,’ said one witness.

“People were picking up children, and trying to help those who weren’t very good on their feet. They just wanted to get away.”

Another female witness called Hajar told FranceInfo: “I heard two shots, that was what triggered the panic. People came out of a waiting room shouting ‘Run! Don’t stay in the station. Everybody outside.’

“I had just got to the station when everyone started running. People sitting on the terrace of a fast food restaurant came inside and shouted ‘Run, get out! Then I saw a woman on the floor, they were giving her CPR.”

 Saint Charles station was evacuated and locked down within minutes of the attack

Reuters
Saint Charles station was evacuated and locked down within minutes of the attack
 Train passengers were blocked from entering the crime scene in Marseille

Reuters
Train passengers were blocked from entering the crime scene in Marseille
 Officers guard a stairway towards the promenade around the station where the knifeman was shot

AFP or licensors
Officers guard a stairway towards the promenade around the station where the knifeman was shot
 A heavily armed security official parades the scene around Saint Charles station

AFP or licensors
A heavily armed security official parades the scene around Saint Charles station
 Initial reports of gunshots and a roaming knifeman sparked a swift evacuation at Marseille train station

Twitter
Initial reports of gunshots and a roaming knifeman sparked a swift evacuation at Marseille train station
 Passengers who were rushed out of the station, look on as the scene unfolds

AP:Associated Press
Passengers who were rushed out of the station, look on as the scene unfolds

Anti-terror officials have launched an investigation into the “killings linked to a terrorist organisation”.

French interior minister Gerard Collomb announced he was rushing to Marseille to liaise with authorities.

A spokesman for Mr Collomb’s department said: “Anti-terrorist prosecutors have opened an enquiry, and the terrorist theory is privileged.”

The knife rampage comes as France is still on high alert following a string of deadly terror attacks which began in January 2015.

Before this incident, 239 people were killed by Islamist extremists over the last two years in France.

After the November 2015 terror attack, which unfolded at the Bataclan concert hall, then President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency.

Security forces received increased power to use force and launch prompt anti-terror raids.

 Crowds of shocked passengers gather near the scene today

AP:Associated Press
Crowds of shocked passengers gather near the scene today
 Police instruct bystanders to stay back from the scene of the brutal knife attack

AP:Associated Press
Police instruct bystanders to stay back from the scene of the brutal knife attack
 Commuters are left waiting outside the station after their travel plans have been wrecked

AP:Associated Press
Commuters are left waiting outside the station after their travel plans have been wrecked
 Cops described the attack as a major police incident

Zack Ismaili‏
Cops described the attack as a major police incident
 Officials examine the scene of the ambush which started around 2pm local time

AP:Associated Press
Officials examine the scene of the ambush which started around 2pm local time

There have also been a series of smaller onslaughts in France.

A knifeman attacked a soldier at a Paris Metro station last month, but he was swiftly arrested.

In August, a man driving a van killed a person and left another injured after he mowed a bus stop down in Marseille.

Today’s incident comes days after Islamic State released a recording of a man they claimed was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – the terror network’s leader – urging his followers to strike their Western enemies.

 A French soldier continues to guard the station as emergency service workers help passengers

AP:Associated Press
A French soldier continues to guard the station as emergency service workers help passengers
 The area surrounding St Charles station has been cordoned off as forensics assess the scene

Reuters
The area surrounding St Charles station has been cordoned off as forensics assess the scene


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