A man has attacked three people at a major train station in Paris, police said, adding that they don’t believe it was a terror attack.
Armed with a knife and a hammer, a man wounded three people on Saturday in an early morning attack at the bustling Gare de Lyon train station in Paris.
The man was carrying residency papers from Italy and medicines suggesting he was undergoing treatment, was quickly taken into police custody following the attack at 7:35am in one of the station’s cavernous halls, authorities said.
“This individual appears to suffer from psychiatric troubles,” said Laurent Nunez, the Paris police chief who is also in charge of the massive security operation for the upcoming Olympic Games in July.
While stressing that the police investigation was still in its early stages, Nunez said: “There are no elements that lead us to think that this could be a terrorist act.”
People nearby intervened to help railway police officers detain the suspect, who is in police custody, Nunez said.
Investigators are analysing the knife and hammer, the Paris prosecutor’s office said. It said the police investigation is looking at a potential preliminary charge of attempted murder.
Posting on social media, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin described the attack as an “unbearable act” and thanked those who detained the assailant.
Security in Paris is being ramped up as it prepares to welcome 10,500 Olympians and millions of visitors for the first Olympic Games in July.
The Games are to open with a massive open-air ceremony along the River Seine on 26 July, a major security challenge in the city that has been repeatedly hit by terror attacks, most notably in 2015.
Most recently, a man targeted pedestrians near the Eiffel Tower in December, killing a German tourist with a knife and injuring two others.