French police arrest four over Lyon bomb explosion

Algerian citizen, 24, arrested along with his parents and another Algerian family relation, Paris prosecutors say.

    The main suspect is an IT student previously unknown to police, Lyon's mayor said [Reuters]
    The main suspect is an IT student previously unknown to police, Lyon's mayor said [Reuters]

    French police have arrested four people over an explosion in the heart of the southeastern city of Lyon last week which injured 13 people, authorities said.

    The suspected bomber, a 24-year-old Algerian citizen, was arrested along with his parents and another Algerian student who is a family relation, Paris prosecutors said on Monday, as cited by AFP news agency.

    The suspect is an IT student previously unknown to police, Lyon's mayor Gerard Collomb said.

    Police have also questioned his sister but she has not been arrested, the Paris prosecutors added.

    Prosecutors had on Friday opened an investigation over "attempted murders linked to a terrorist organisation".

    Police had been hunting for a man seen cycling near the scene of the blast who was wearing a green top and Bermuda shorts, and carrying a dark rucksack.

    France Lyon bomb attack
    French police were hunting the suspect following an explosion that wounded 13 people [French Police via AP]

    He had been the target of an extensive manhunt since late Friday when an explosive device filled with screws and ball bearings was placed in front of a bakery near the corner of two crowded pedestrian streets in the historic centre of Lyon.

    Police circulated photos of the suspect on Twitter, leading to "several dozen" calls from people with information.

    Victims hit with shrapnel

    Sources close to the investigation suspected the explosive was acetone peroxide, or APEX, a volatile compound used in deadly Paris attacks that happened on November 13, 2015.

    Investigators recovered small screws, ball bearings and batteries along with a printed circuit and a remote-controlled trigger device. Officials later said the charge was relatively weak.

    Thirteen people were wounded in the blast - eight women, four men and a 10-year-old girl - of whom 11 needed hospital treatment.

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    None of their injuries is believed to be life-threatening. Authorities said some needed surgery to remove shrapnel.

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

    No one has claimed responsibility for the Lyon blast.

    SOURCE: News agencies