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Four American women hit by acid attack in France

The old port of Marseille
The old port of Marseille RFI/Pierre-Rene Worms

Four American college students were attacked with acid by a woman on Sunday at a train station in southern France. At least two of them were injured, according to local police.

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The four American women, all in their early 20s, were in front of the Saint-Charles train station when a woman threw hydrochloric acid on them shortly before 11 a.m. on Sunday morning, police said.

The assailant, a 41-year-old woman, was quickly arrested in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille. The police prefecture said they were not treating the attack on the American women as a terrorist assault.

The suspect has “a psychiatric history,” a spokeswoman for the police prefecture in Marseille said. “For now, nothing suggests that this was a terrorist attack.”

La Provence, the main local newspaper, quoted police sources as saying that, after the attack, the suspect had displayed pictures of herself with burns on her body. The prosecutor’s office said the suspect also had a criminal record for violent theft, according to the television station France 3.

Two of the victims were burned, and the other two appeared to have escaped injury, but they were in a state of shock, according to police. All four were treated at a hospital on Sunday.

Boston College said in a statement on Sunday that the four women were students at the college and were enrolled in study-abroad programs. They were identified as Courtney Siverling, Charlotte Kaufman, Michelle Krug and Kelsey Kosten.

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