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Terror Threat

Man decapitated as attacker carrying Islamist flag targets French gas factory

One vehicle drove into the factory attempting to set off an explosion.

Updated 2.11 pm

France Attack A police officer blocks the factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier where the Associated Press Associated Press

A MAN WAS killed and several others injured after an attacker carrying an Islamist flag attacked a gas factory in France. 

The deceased man was decapitated. He is believed to be a local businessman and employer of the suspected attacker.

The man’s body was found inside the factory between Lyon and Grenoble. His head was found pinned to gates of the factory and had Arabic words written on it, according to AFP quoting sources.

“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,” added the source who said a, “flag with Arabic writing on it was found on the scene.”

France Attack One person was found beheaded next to the gates of the factory. Associated Press Associated Press

French President Francois Hollande said a vehicle driven at high speed by “one person, maybe accompanied by another” smashed into the factory, around 40 km from France’s second city Lyon.

“The intent was without doubt to cause an explosion. It was a terrorist attack,” said Hollande in Brussels, cutting short an EU summit to hold emergency meetings in the French capital.

“At the time I am speaking, there is one dead and two injured,” said a grim-faced Hollande, calling for “solidarity” for the victim, who was found with Arabic inscriptions on him.

Sky News / YouTube

The 35-year-old attacker, identified as Yacine Salhi, had been known to security services for a number of years but did not have a criminal record, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

He was taken into custody and an anti-terrorist probe has been launched.

The suspect entered the factory, owned by American group Air Products, and set off several small explosive devices, sources close to the investigation said, with at least two people hurt in the assault.

Police said it was unclear whether the attacker was acting alone, or had accomplices.

PastedImage-96548Overhead view of the factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier.

Security services drew up a file on the suspect in 2006 for radicalisation, but he had no criminal record, said the Interior Minister, who went immediately to the scene.

He had a "link" to the Salafist movement, an extreme form of Sunni Islam, Cazeneuve added, stressing that the investigation was in its early stages.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who is on an official trip in South America, ordered security measures stepped up at all sensitive sites in the area.

The attack occurred around 10:00 am local time (08:00 am Irish time), according to local media, in the small town of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon.

"This is a small town and a large industrial zone. There's never been any concern in the region. We're all surprised. We're really in shock this morning," an employee at a nearby business told rolling news channel BMFTV.

- With reporting by ©-AFP 2015


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