Explosion at French factory; Hollande calls it terror act

RSTV Bureau
symbolic-image

Symbolic image

In a suspected terror attack in France a person was killed and many others were reportedly injured after an explosion was detonated in a factory. The incident took place early on Friday morning in a gas factory located in an eastern city of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier.

The French President Francois Hollande has described the assault as a “terrorist attack”. Hollande, who is in Brussels for a summit of EU leaders, has rushed back to France.

“The intent was without doubt to cause an explosion. It was a terrorist attack,” Hollande told the press reporters in Brussels.

According to the local investigating authorities, a suspected assailant entered the factory and set of several small explosives targeting the personnel working inside the building.

“According to the initial findings of the enquiry, one or several individuals on board a vehicle drove into the factory. An explosion then took place,” officials associated with the probe told.

There are reports that the assailant was carrying with him a flag having an inscription in Arabic. Though there is no clarity on the number of attackers involved, the authorities have confirmed the press about a decapitated body found nearby the factory.

“The decapitated body of a person was found nearby the factory but we do not yet know whether the body was transported to the place or not. A flag with Arabic writing on it was found on the scene,” the official further added.

As per the latest reports, a person who is thought to have carried the deadly attack has been apprehended from the site and is further taken under arrest. But the local police associated with the probe had refused to confirm the identity of the person arrested.

“We cannot say anything reliable yet about the identity of the person arrested who is refusing to speak and did not have any identity papers,” said an officer.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has rushed to Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, as per the statement issued by his office in Paris.

Today’s attack has come nearly six months after the shocking shootout at the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The attacks at Charlie Hebdo were termed as the deadliest act of terrorism in France that led to the killing of 17 people in and around Paris earlier this year in January. The attacks had drawn record crowds out on the streets of Paris taking pledge to fight terrorism.

While 12 people, including popular 76-year old cartoonist Jean ‘Cabu’ Cabut, were shot dead by the attackers at Charlie Hebdo. A policewoman and four hostages in a Jewish supermarket were also killed during the three-day attacks. Two Islamic brothers were behind the shootout at Hebdo.

(With inputs from the PTI)