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Police arrest suspect after stabbing in France kills 2, injures others

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner (C) meets with police officers and local authorities at the attack scene in Romans-sur-Isere, France, on Saturday after a man stabbed several people. Photo by Alex Martin/EPA-EFE
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner (C) meets with police officers and local authorities at the attack scene in Romans-sur-Isere, France, on Saturday after a man stabbed several people. Photo by Alex Martin/EPA-EFE

April 4 (UPI) -- Police arrested a suspect in stabbing in France that killed two people and injured several others Saturday.

The suspect was arrested at about 11 a.m. after he attacked people in the Romans-sur-Isere area of southeast France amid a national lockdown to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

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The assailant slit the throat of a 40-year-old man in front of his companion in the center of Romans-sur-Isere, just south of Lyon, French authorities said. The suspect then attacked two tobacco store workers and a customer and headed to a butcher's store.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner tweeted that the suspect was quickly arrested and investigators were looking for a motive.

"For now, we do not know the motive behind this attack," the mayor's office of Romans-sur-Isere said in a statement.

Police told French media the suspect, age 33, was an asylum seeker from Sudan who had been living in the area.

Anti-terrorism investigators have been informed and were evaluating the situation to determine whether it was a terrorist act.

"My thoughts go out to the victims of the attack in Romans-sur-Isere, the injured and their families," President Emmanuel Macron tweeted. "We will fully investigate this odious act that has added more grief to our country that has already suffered so much over the last few weeks."

The attack occurred amid a 19-day lockdown to slow the coronavirus spread. As of Saturday afternoon, France had 83,050 cases of COVID-19 and 7,574 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University's global tracker.

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