A 54-year-old woman on a bus in the Paris no-go suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis was seriously injured after a man sprayed her with a flammable liquid and set her on fire.
The incident took place in the commune of Noisy-le-Sec at around 7:15 pm on Saturday in what appears to have been an unprovoked, random attack.
Police arrested a suspect, a 41-year-old known to authorities, the following day. It is believed the man had sprayed the woman with a flammable liquid, possibly gasoline, and then set her on fire before fleeing the bus. The bus driver and the victim’s partner were also injured, Le Parisien reports.
The prosecutor’s office of Bobigny has stated that an investigation into attempted homicide has been launched.
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A witness, a 16-year-old name Ali, described the incident to Le Parisien, saying: “There were big flames in the bus. It smelled like something burnt. A man was yelling: ‘Stop! Stop!’ It was very shocking.”
Prosecutors say that the victim was severely burned on the scalp and neck and was transported to a local hospital but is not believed to be in critical condition.
Mayor of Noisy-le-Sec, Olivier Sarrabeyrouse, a member of the French Communist Party (PCF), reacted to the incident, saying he was “shocked, disturbed, and distressed by this tragedy”.
The incident is just the latest act of extreme violence in Paris’s heavily migrant-populated no-go suburbs in recent years.
The attack comes several months after five members of one family, including four children, were killed and another five injured in a hammer and knife assault in the same commune.
Police stated that the attack had been possibly motivated by a family dispute and that two victims were found dead as police arrived on the scene, and the other three died an hour and a half later at a local hospital.
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