Sudanese Migrant Goes on Stabbing Rampage in France Shouting 'Allah Akbar' - Two Dead
Refugee complained 'about living in a country of non-believers' before terrorist attack
A Sudanese migrant has gone on a stabbing rampage in an idyllic French town while shouting "Allah Akbar!" (God is Greatest) as he stabbed his victims, according to reports.
Police are treating the bloodbath, which left two people dead and seven more injured, as a lone wolf terrorist attack.
The incident occurred in Romans-sur-Isère - an idyllic riverside town just south of the eastern city of Lyon which is currently on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
President Emmanuel Macron called the attack, which took place in broad daylight, “an odious act.”
Counter-terrorism prosecutors have launched an investigation into “murder linked to a terrorist enterprise” after the rampage in a string of shops in the small town with a population of roughly 35,000.
The assailant, identified only as Abdallah A.O, a refugee in his 30s from Sudan who lives in the town, was arrested without a fight by police.
The attack corresponded to numerous suicidal knife attacks carried out by Islamic State-linked terrorists in France in recent years.
This time, 33-year-old Abdallah A.O was heard to shout "Allah Akbar" - Arabic for "God is the Greatest" - before lashing out at his innocent victims with a blade.
When the police arrived the man screamed "Kill me! Kill me!" but the officers were able to arrest him without harming him, according to local reports.
France's Interior Minister Christophe Castener later described how the man - who arrived from Sudan a few months ago but who was not previously known to police - attacked his victims in a bakery, a tobacconist and then out on the street, before police intervened at around 11 am.
France's anti-terrorism prosecutors said Abdallah had been seeking asylum in the country despite "complaining about living in a country of non-believers."
A spokesman for the office said: "During a search carried out at his home, police found handwritten documents with religious connotation in which the author of the lines complains in particular of living in a country of non-believers."
The spokesman said an inquiry had been launched into "two assassinations and attempted assassinations in relation to a terrorist enterprise."
He confirmed that Abdallah was said to have murdered two unnamed victims with a knife, and severely wounded seven others.
The Sudanese are one of the biggest groups seeking asylum in France, with many feeling violence and extreme poverty in the Darfur region, as well as political persecution.
Among the injured, two are in intensive care in hospitals in the Lyon area.
One was stabbed in the bakery before the attacker discarded his original knife and then went into the butchers to pick up another one.
He then continued with his lethal rampage, jumping over a shop counter and sticking the butcher's knife into a victim's neck.
The man then ran out into the street and appeared to lash out at random at anyone in his way.
When police arrived he put his hands in the air and then asked to be shot.
"He shouted at the police to kill him," said David Oliver, a spokesman for the Alliance national police union.
"All the ingredients for a terrorist act are there for us."