PARIS: Four young American women were attacked with acid Sunday in the French city of Marseille by a woman who has been arrested, the Marseille prosecutor’s office said.
Two of the tourists were injured in the face in the attack in the city’s main Saint Charles train station and one of them has a possible eye injury, a spokeswoman for the Marseille prosecutor’s office told The Associated Press in a phone call.
She said all four of the women, who are in their 20s, have been hospitalised, two of them for shock.
The spokeswoman said the 41-year-old female suspect did not make any extremist threats or declarations during the attack. She said there were no obvious indications that the woman’s actions were terror-related, but added that officials could not be 100 percent sure about ruling out terror links at such an early stage of the investigation.
The spokeswoman spoke on condition of anonymity, per the custom of the French judicial system.
She did not release any further details about the suspects or the victims, including where in the United States the tourists were from.
The Marseille fire department was alerted just after 11am and dispatched four vehicles and 14 firefighters to the train station, a department spokeswoman said.
Two of the Americans were “slightly injured” with acid but did not require emergency medical treatment from medics at the scene, the spokeswoman said. She requested anonymity in keeping with fire department protocol.
A spokesman for the United States embassy in Paris said the US consulate in Marseille was in contact with French authorities about the attack investigation and the condition of the American women.
US authorities in France are not immediately commenting further on what happened to protect the privacy of the American tourists, embassy spokesman Alex Daniels said.
Marseille is a port city in southern France that is closer to Barcelona than Paris.
In previous incidents in Marseille, a driver deliberately rammed into two bus stops last month, killing a woman, but officials said it wasn’t terror-related.
In April, French police say they thwarted an imminent “terror attack” and arrested two suspected radicals in Marseille just days before the first round of France’s presidential election. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters the two suspects “were getting ready to carry out an imminent, violent action” on French territory.
In January 2016, a 15-year-old Turkish Kurd was arrested after attacking a Jewish teacher on a Marseille street. He told police he acted in the name of the Islamic State group.