Two women became victims of an armed assailant at the main Saint-Charles station in the Southern French city of Marseille. The assailant was armed with a knife in the busy Train Station on Sunday 30 September but was quickly stopped by soldiers on patrol. Sky News reported that the Islamic State’s propaganda arm took responsibility for this latest attack.

Killed by soldiers

The assailant did not get away but was killed by soldiers who were on patrol at the time. It is reported that one victim’s throat was slit while the other was stabbed in the stomach. Authorities are saying that the assailant removed a knife from his sleeve, Sky News reported, and attacked the first woman He then attacked the second woman who was standing in close proximity.

The women were reportedly aged 17 and 20-years. Witnesses claimed that the assailant approached both women from behind

According to the Guardian, it is alleged that the assailant shouted: “Allahu Akbar” which means 'God is great' before he attacked his victims. No identity documents were found on the man, but it is said that he may be in his thirties. Residents have been asked to avoid the area since it has been sealed off and investigations are continuing.

On high alert

Police were deployed quickly and the terminal was immediately evacuated and all train traffic was stopped. Because of previous terror attacks, the city remains on high alert. The Guardian reported that the patrolmen who shot the accused were stationed there as part of Operation Sentinelle. This is one initiative undertaken to ensure that all streets and key public sites ware patrolled regularly.

Marseille’s deputy mayor reported heaped praises on the quick actions of the soldiers on duty, stated The Guardian. Pozmentier reportedly said that their quick actions prevented a possibly higher number of victims. Emmanuel Macron, French President, utilizing Twitter also praised the quick and efficient actions of the soldiers.

Investigations opened

Investigations have been opened into an “attempted killing of a public official” and “killings linked to a terrorist organization” by Anti-terror prosecutors. However, investigators have not made any conclusive comments about the incident since investigations are ongoing. The Guardian stated that the investigation is being conducted by central police forces and not the anti-terrorism police. If this incident is confirmed as a terrorist attack, it will be the first fatal attack in France at a public transportation site.

Terror attack flashback

According to The Guardian, France experienced terror attacks in 2015 and 2016 respectively. In 2015, more than 230 people were killed in attacks by terrorists while in 2016, a priest was killed by two teenage jihadists.These attacks also targeted soldiers on patrol but there were no casualties.However, this led French troops to be on high alert for pending attacks.The Guardian reported that attacks usually occurred in bustling public places but with no fatalities and these attacks were quickly squelched by authorities.

This initiative was a result of the 2015 terror attack.