Explosion in French city of Lyon wounds at least 13, Macron calls blast ‘attack’

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An explosion on a pedestrian street (Rue Victor Hugo) in the French city of Lyon has wounded at least eight people, France's interior ministry confirmed on Friday. (AFP Photo/@Samien Dalaud)
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An explosion on a pedestrian street (Rue Victor Hugo) in the French city of Lyon has wounded at least eight people, France's interior ministry confirmed on Friday. (Twitter: @prefetrhone)
Updated 24 May 2019
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Explosion in French city of Lyon wounds at least 13, Macron calls blast ‘attack’

  • Prosecutors said the blast came from a suspected parcel bomb
  • None of the injuries appear to be life-threatening

LYON: An explosion on a pedestrian street (Rue Victor Hugo) in the French city of Lyon has wounded at least 13 people, France's interior ministry confirmed on Friday.

French police were hunting a suspected suitcase bomber on Friday after an explosion in the central city of Lyon that injured 13 people, officials said. The suspect was captured on security video leaving a case in front of a bakery shortly before an explosion occurred at around 5:30 pm, police sources and local mayor Denis Broliquier said.

The area where the explosion occurred, on the narrow strip of land between the Saone and Rhone rivers in the historic city centre, has been evacuated, according to reporters at the scene.

Interior ministry officials initially said eight people had been injured, but police sources later put the number hurt at 13, with none of the injuries thought to be life-threatening.

The Paris anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation, with police treating the blast as an attempted homicide, law-enforcement officials said.

Kamel Amerouche, the regional authority's communications chief, said that the casualties suffered leg injuries. He said the explosion occurred in or outside a store of the bakery chain Brioche Doree.

President Emmanuel Macron, who was beginning a broadcast address as news of the explosion broke, described the incident as an "attack" with no fatalities, he said.

Macron, in his Facebook interview, said: "It's not for me to give a toll but it appears there are no fatalities. There have been injuries, so obviously I'm thinking of these injured and their families."

"An eight-year-old girl was wounded.... We're fairly relieved because apparently there were no serious injuries but on the other hand, we are certain it was an explosive device," said Denis Broliquier, mayor of the city's Second Arrondissement.

"There was an explosion and I thought it was a car crash," said Eva, a 17-year-old student who was about 15 metres (50 feet) from the site of the blast.

"There were bits of electric wire near me, and batteries and bits of cardboard and plastic. The windows were blown out," she said.

France has been on high alert following a wave of deadly terror attacks since 2015 which have killed more than 250 people.

"It's an area in the very centre of Lyon, a major street," the city's deputy mayor in charge of security, Jean-Yves Secheresse, told BFM television.

"These areas are highly secured, the police are continually present," as were patrols by soldiers deployed in a long-running anti-terror operation, he said.

Lyon is the third-biggest city in France. The population of the city plus its extensive suburbs is 2.3 million.

The most recent package bomb in France dates back to December 2007, when an explosion in front of a law office in Paris killed one person and injured another. Police never found who carried out that attack.

(With agencies)


FBI eyes Deutsche Bank after money-laundering report

Updated 20 June 2019
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FBI eyes Deutsche Bank after money-laundering report

  • Questioned money transfers allegedly made by the Kushner Cos. to Russian individuals in 2016
  • Banks are required to report certain suspicious transactions to the Treasury Department, but have discretion over what triggers a report

NEW YORK: The FBI has reached out to a lawyer for a former Deutsche Bank employee who complained that the bank was ignoring suspicious transactions, including some involving Jared Kushner’s family real estate company.
The former Deutsche Bank anti-money laundering specialist, Tammy McFadden, told The New York Times in May that she had recommended that the bank alert the Treasury Department to a series of money transfers from the Kushner Cos. to Russian individuals in 2016, but the bank decided against it.
McFadden’s lawyer, Brian McCafferty, told the Times in a story published Wednesday that he was recently contacted by the FBI about his client.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the Times story, other than to say it will cooperate with any “authorized investigations.”
Kushner Cos. released a statement saying “any allegations regarding Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Kushner Companies which involved money laundering is completely made up and totally false.”
McCafferty did not respond to messages left by The Associated Press.
Banks are required to report certain suspicious transactions to the Treasury Department, but have discretion over what triggers a report. Transactions are typically vetted at several levels at banks and many are ultimately not sent to Treasury. Financial institutions reported more than 2 million suspicious transactions last year. Most such reports don’t lead to a criminal case.
In a report in the Times in May, McFadden criticized the bank’s practices, saying it had a pattern of rejecting proposed suspicious activity reports involving prized clients.
Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, was CEO of Kushner Cos before the election, but stepped down afterward to become one of Trump’s senior advisers.
The Times in May also reported, citing anonymous former and current bank employees, that several transactions involving President Donald Trump’s company were flagged at the bank as suspicious but were not passed on to the Treasury Department.
The Trump Organization did not respond to email and text messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.
Two congressional committees have subpoenaed Deutsche Bank documents as part their investigations into President Donald Trump and his company. Deutsche Bank has been one for the few banks willing to lend to Trump after a series of corporate bankruptcies and defaults starting in the early 90s.
Trump had sued Deutsche Bank to stop the subpoenas, but a judge in May ruled against the president.