Last week a “parcel bomb” went off in Lyon that reportedly injured 13 people including an eight year old girl. The bomb set off outside of a bakery on Friday afternoon contained ball bearings and screws as the acting shrapnel. French police arrested the two men who were thought to be responsible for the incident. Anti-terrorist attorneys are heading the investigation in conjunction with the Lyon police force and the General Directorate for Internal Security (French intelligence agency). Very little information was released about the one perpetrator – local press indicates the suspect is a minor who goes to a school in Lyon. The main suspect is a 24 year old Algerian IT student who was arrested in Lyon after the police tailed him on the street. The police were against arresting him in his home due to the possibility that there could have been hidden explosives in the apartment.
How serious was the attack?
The bomb was detonated near a busy corner of two pedestrian streets in the Lyon city center. A remote activation device, batteries, a circuit board, screws, and ball bearings were found at the scene of the crime. Lyon’s Disctrict Mayor, Denis Broliquier, said that “the charge was too small to kill”, and according to a government source who spoke to the Agence France-Presse international news agency, the bomb delivered a “relatively weak explosive charge”. The wounded seem to have sustained superficial injuries only.
Although nobody has taken responsibility, according to a Tweet from the French Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, one of the arrests have been confirmed. The Tweet said that “decisive” action had been taken by multiple agencies.
France’s last parcel bomb attack happened over a decade ago. In 2007 one individual was wounded and another was killed outside of a Paris law office. Unfortunately in this case, the police didn’t catch whoever was responsible.