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

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)


Six killed as avalanche buries Indian patrol on disputed glacier

Updated 18 November 2019

Six killed as avalanche buries Indian patrol on disputed glacier

  • The disaster was the latest on the Siachen Glacier at more than 5,000 meters
  • Hundreds of troops from both sides have died in avalanches and from the fierce climate

SRINAGAR: An avalanche on Monday hit an Indian patrol in the world’s highest militarised zone in the Himalayas, killing four soldiers and two porters, an army spokesman said.
The disaster was the latest on the Siachen Glacier at more than 5,000 meters (16,500 feet) that is claimed by India and rival Pakistan.
Hundreds of troops from both sides have died in avalanches and from the fierce climate in the region over the past three decades.
An Indian military spokesman told AFP that the avalanche engulfed eight people in the patrol at the northern end of the glacier in the Karakoram mountain range.
Rescue teams managed to dig the patrol members out of the snow, and they were taken by helicopter to hospital.
“Despite best efforts, six casualties which includes four soldiers and two civilian porters succumbed to extreme hypothermia,” said the spokesman, Col. Rajesh Kalia.
Avalanches are common on the 700-square-kilometer (270-square-mile) glacier, where temperatures regularly fall to minus 60 degrees Celsius (-76 Fahrenheit).
In 2016, 10 Indian soldiers were buried and killed.
About 900 Indian soldiers alone have died on the glacier since 1984, when Indian forces took complete control of Siachen.
The glacier is located at the northern end of the Line of Control that divides Kashmir, which India and Pakistan have fought over since 1947.

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