Mayor praises security forces over knife attack

Exterior of Marseille St Charles railway station

Soldiers' 'rapid reaction' prevented further bloodshed, Jean-Claude Gaudin says after incident in which two women were stabbed to death at Marseille's Saint Charles railway station

The mayor of Marseille has praised security forces in the city for their quick response following a knife attack in the city's Saint Charles railway station on Sunday.

"[Marseille shares] the pain of the families of the victims," Jean-Claude Gaudin said in a statement to Le Figaro.

"The rapid reaction of security forces at the scene probably prevented the assailant from causing more deaths."

"We are in a constant struggle against terrorism and will will not give it the means to change our lifestyle. The security forces are working to minimise the threat of attack. We will learn lessons from this tragedy and continue to do everything possible to stop those who want to stop [our way of life]."

Mr Gaudin was speaking after a man shouting “Allahu akbar!” stabbed two women at the train station on Sunday afternoon. The victims died of their injuries.

While Isis has claimed the attacker is 'a soldier' of the terror group, authorities are still working to determine whether the attacker had links to Islamic extremism.

Police have a video showing a man attacking a woman and running away, then returning to attack his second victim, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, who headed to Marseille after the news broke, told reporters.

The man was shot as he charged at soldiers heading to the scene.

President Emmanuel Macron also paid tribute to the soldiers who responded. In a tweet, in which he deplored the 'barbarous act', he said they acted “with [a] cool head and efficiency.”

The area around St Charles train station was evacuated and closed for several hours after the attack.

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