PARIS (AFP) – French police have arrested a third suspect, another Sudanese national, in an expanding terror probe after a knife attack in the country’s southeast left two people dead, investigators said yesterday.
The attack in broad daylight on Saturday in the riverside town of Romans-sur-Isere, took place with the country on lockdown to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Prosecutors have launched an investigation into “murder linked to a terrorist enterprise” and “association with terrorist wrongdoers” after the rampage through a string of shops in the town with a population of 35,000.
The alleged assailant, identified as Abdallah Ahmed-Osman – a Sudanese refugee in his 30s who lives in the town – was arrested without a fight.
Police later arrested a second Sudanese man at Ahmed-Osman’s home – “an acquaintance” of the alleged attacker – and on Saturday night “a young Sudanese man from the same household” as the main suspect, the anti-terror prosecutor’s office told AFP yesterday.
Ahmed-Osman was found by police “on his knees on the pavement” after the attack, said the national anti-terror prosecutor’s office (PNAT).
“Anyone who had the misfortune to find themselves in his way were attacked,” the town’s mayor Marie-Helene Thoraval told AFP.
David Olivier Reverdy, from the National Police Alliance union, said Ahmed-Osman asked police to kill him when they came to arrest him.