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Lyon police make several arrests in connection with parcel bomb attack

Investigators during a police operation in Oullins, France, 27 May 2019.
Investigators during a police operation in Oullins, France, 27 May 2019. REUTERS/Emmanuel Foudrot

Four people have been arrested in connection with a package bomb that detonated on Friday outside a bakery in Lyon, southeastern France, injuring thirteen. 

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The suspected bomber, a 24-year-old Algerian citizen, was arrested on Monday morning along with his mother and another Algerian student, a family friend, according to the Paris prosecutor.

The main suspect's father was also taken into custody later, following a raid in the Lyon suburb of Oullins. 

Video frame grab from a surveillance camera made available by the French Police on their Twitter account, showing a man riding a bike near the package bomb blast in Lyon.
Video frame grab from a surveillance camera made available by the French Police on their Twitter account, showing a man riding a bike near the package bomb blast in Lyon. Handout / FRENCH POLICE / AFP

The police had been looking for a man seen leaving the scene of the crime on a bicycle, wearing a balaclava, a green t-shirt, shorts and carrying a dark-coloured backpack. They used social media to describe him, and received a number of tips from people with information.

The package exploded outside a bakery in central Lyon. It contained a device with an electrical circuit and remote-controlled trigger, as well as ball bearings, batteries and screws meant to maim pedestrians, according to the authorities, who later said the charge was relatively weak. 

Eleven out of the 13 people needed hospital treatment, including a 10-year-old girl, mainly needing surgery to remove shrapnel, said officials.

Agence France Presse newswire reported that a source close to the investigation said that the package also contained acetone peroxide, or APEX, which was used in the Paris attacks in November 2015.

France remains on high alert since the 2015 attacks. No one has claimed responsibility for the Lyon bomb.

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