Police hunt suspect after explosion in French city of Lyon

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PARIS – On Saturday, French police were hunting a suspect who had deposited a paper bag containing an explosive device and wounded 13 people on a busy pedestrian street in the city of Lyon the day before.

France’s counter-terrorism prosecutor, Remy Heitz, said an investigation was opened for “attempted murder in connection with a terrorist enterprise” and “criminal terrorist association.”

He said no group has yet claimed responsibility for the explosion.

Regional authorities said 13 people suffered mainly mild injuries, including 11 who were still in hospital on Saturday morning.

French President Emmanuel Macron called the explosion an “attack” during a live interview Friday on the European Parliament elections that will run until Sunday.

Heitz described a video surveillance that shows the suspect heading towards the center of the city of Lyon on a bicycle on Friday afternoon.

The man was seen to arrive on foot, pushing his bicycle, on the Victor Hugo pedestrian street. He was seen leaving a paper bag on a concrete block in the middle of the street near a bakery, Heitz said.

The suspect immediately returned to his bicycle and left by the same path. A minute later, the explosion broke the glass of a refrigerator in the bakery, Heitz said.

Researchers at the scene have found screws, metal balls, an activation device that can be used remotely and plastic parts that can come from the explosive device.

Police issued an appeal to witnesses on Saturday with a photo of the suspect, described as “dangerous”, captured on video surveillance.

Heitz said the police will release more photos soon. The man was wearing a cap and sunglasses that partly hid his face.

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