Man 'armed to the teeth' arrested in Cannes market as France deploys 300 more soldiers

Three separate attacks have occurred across France in three days

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A gunman armed with two shotguns and a knife has been arrested in Cannes an hour after plans were made for 300 soldiers to be deployed onto streets in France to combat “copy-cat” incidents after three attacks in three days left one person dead and around 30 wounded.

The man was detained yesterday after he was spotted “armed to the teeth” with two pump-action shotguns and a 25cm knife walking through Forville market.

The day before, a different man crashed a van into a crowded Christmas market in Nantes and injured 11 pedestrians. One of the victims, a 25-year-old man, died from his injuries. The accused is currently being detained and questioned by police.

The incident came a day after another man, who is said by Sky News to have been hospitalised for mental health issues 157 times, reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” (meaning “God is greatest”) and injured 13 people in a similar attack in the eastern city of Dijon.

 

On Saturday, another attacker, also reported to have yelled “Allahu Akbar”, was shot after stabbing three police officers in central France.

Prosecutors have opened an investigation into the Nantes attack, after searches unearthed what they called a written “religious testament” in which the suspect claimed that he used the Arabic word for God (Allah) to give him “strength”.

Authorities are not treating the other two other incidents as acts of terrorism as both are said to have been suffering from serious mental health problems.

“What we are seeing with events in Dijon and Nantes is that they are creating copy-cat reactions,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said after ordering the deployment of the extra security forces in addition to the existing 780 in main pedestrian and shopping areas such as Paris’ Champs-Elysees avenue.

Valls added that France had “never before faced such a high threat linked to terrorism”.

Comments