VILLEURBANNE, France (AP) – Police detained an Afghan man seeking asylum in France after one person was fatally stabbed and nine others injured Saturday outside a subway station in a suburb of Lyon, authorities said. The reason for the attack was unclear.
The assailant was a 33-year-old Afghan citizen who had applied for asylum in France and was awaiting a response, a national police official said.
The suspect provided contradictory information to police, but the attack in the town of Villeurbanne did not appear to be terrorism-related, the official told The Associated Press. The official was not authorized to be publicly named because of French government policy.
Villeurbanne Mayor Jean-Paul Bret told reporters that the detained man was the primary suspect and the only one suspected in the actual stabbing.
The mayor said the victim who died was a 19-year-old man and three of the injured were in critical condition. It was unclear if the slain man knew the attacker, local police said.
The subway station in Villeurbanne was cordoned off, with police combing the area. Police were looking for possible accomplices.
The national anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office so far had not been asked to participate in the investigation. The Lyon regional administration also said national security forces weren’t involved in the search, which included a few dozen local police officers and a helicopter.
France remains on high alert after several deadly Islamic extremist attacks in 2015 and 2016.
Associated Press journalist Nicolas Vaux-Montagny reported this story in Villeurbanne and AP writer Angela Charlton reported from Paris.