In a harrowing incident on Saturday morning, a knife-wielding assailant, identified as a Malian national, left three individuals wounded during a stabbing spree at Paris’s Gare de Lyon railway station, a vital transportation hub for domestic and international travel.
The attack unfolded at approximately 7:35 am (0635 GMT), causing one person to sustain severe injuries to the abdomen, while two others suffered minor wounds. Law enforcement swiftly responded, apprehending the suspect, who is currently in police custody.
Contrary to initial concerns of terrorism, authorities have ruled out a terrorist motive at this stage, launching an official inquiry into the incident. Sources suggest that the assailant, seemingly homeless and grappling with psychological issues, did not utter any religious slogans during the attack.
Paris prosecutors revealed that the suspect could have employed both a knife and a hammer, both of which are under forensic analysis. During the arrest, the assailant presented an Italian driving license, indicating his birth date as January 1, 1992.
Quick-thinking passers-by managed to subdue the attacker before railway police arrived at the scene. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin expressed gratitude for those who intervened, describing the act as “unbearable.”
As the motives behind the assault remain unclear, the Paris prosecutor’s office initiated an inquiry, with the national anti-terrorist prosecutor monitoring the proceedings. The incident occurred less than six months before Paris is set to host the 2024 Olympics, raising concerns in the lead-up to the international event expected to attract 15 million visitors.
Gare de Lyon, France’s busiest mainline rail hub, facilitates over 100 million passengers annually. In response to the attack, rail operator SNCF temporarily restricted access to the area between halls one and three, causing delays in services to the Paris region. The SNCF officially referred to the incident as “an act of criminal intent.” The situation adds a layer of security concerns in the context of the upcoming Olympics and the ongoing challenges faced by major transportation hubs.