Marseille stabber was released from detention day before fatal attack
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Marseille stabber was released from detention day before fatal attack

Terrorist who killed 2 women at a train station before being shot dead by police was held for suspected shoplifting

Investigative police officers work by a body under a white sheet outside Marseille's main train station Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France. A man with a knife attacked people at the main train station, killing two women before soldiers fatally shot him, officials said. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Investigative police officers work by a body under a white sheet outside Marseille's main train station Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France. A man with a knife attacked people at the main train station, killing two women before soldiers fatally shot him, officials said. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

French officials said Monday that a man who fatally stabbed two women at Marseille’s main train station had been arrested and released the day before the attack.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack, the latest of several targeting France.

A body lies under a white sheet outside Marseille’s main train station Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France. A man with a knife attacked people at the main train station in the southeastern French city of Marseille on Sunday, killing two women before soldiers fatally shot him, officials said. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Two police officials said the man did not have French residency papers and was detained for suspected shoplifting in the Lyon region Saturday before being released.

An investigative police officer works by a body under a white sheet outside Marseille’s main train station Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France. A man with a knife attacked people at the main train station, killing two women before soldiers fatally shot him, officials said. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

The officials said he was not on France’s extremist watch list.

The suspect, killed by police after Sunday’s attack, was identified by his fingerprints.

French media reports said he used multiple identity papers.

Passengers wait as a French soldier gestures outside Marseille’s main train station Sunday, October 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

The victims were cousins between 17 and 21 years old, according to three police and judicial officials who were not authorized to be publicly named during the ongoing investigation.

One of them was fatally stabbed while the other had her throat slit by the assailant, who is believed to have shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) at the start of his rampage, a source close to the investigation said.

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