At least one person was killed and several were injured in a terror attack on a factory in the Lyon region in southeastern France late Friday morning.
The decapitated body of a man was found on the premises, according to Sky News. It reported that the 30-year-old suspect was known to the foreign intelligence services.
The victim was reportedly an employee of the factory. His head was discovered by police perched on the fence outside the factory, covered in Arabic writing.
The suspected attacker entered the factory and set off several small explosive devices, a legal source told AFP. Witnesses reported strong explosions at the plant.
“According to the initial findings of the enquiry, one or several individuals on board a vehicle drove into the factory. An explosion then took place,” said one of the 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 this source, adding that a “flag with Arabic writing on it was found on the scene.”
A security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release details to the media, said the man’s torso was found near the site of the explosion but that the victim was not decapitated by the blast.
In a statement, France’s anti-terror prosecutor said an investigation was opened into the attack, which he said was carried out by “a terrorist group.”
According to the Associated Press, there were two attackers. One was arrested, and it was unclear what happened to the other attacker.
French President Francois Hollande said a man who launched a “terrorist” assault has been identified and that there may have been a second attacker.
“This attack was in a vehicle driven by one person, perhaps accompanied by another,” Hollande said at an EU summit in Brussels. “The individual suspected of committing this attack has been arrested and identified.”
The attack occurred around 10:00 am local time (0800 GMT), according to local media.
After the attack, the French government ordered tightened security at “sensitive sites” throughout France.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he would “immediately” head to the site. Hollande was returning to France from an EU summit in the wake of the attack, an official said. British Prime Minister David Cameron approached Hollande at the summit to condemn the “appalling incident,” Sky News reported.
In January, 12 people were killed in a massacre on the Charlie Hebdo magazine. Several days later, four Jewish men were murdered in the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris in a terror attack.