Marseille knife attacker allegedly yelled 'Allahu akbar!' before slayings

The suspect was shot and killed by police after the incident.

October 1, 2017, 5:14 PM
PHOTO: French police officers patrol outside the Marseille railway station, Oct. 1, 2017.
French police officers patrol outside the Marseille railway station, Oct. 1, 2017. French police warn people to avoid Marseille's main train station amid reports of knife attack, assailant shot dead.
Claude Paris/AP

— -- Before a man wielding a knife at a Marseille, France train station stabbed and killed two women on Sunday, witnesses allegedly heard him shout “Allahu akbar” -- Arabic for “God is great.”

France's Interior Minister Gerard Collomb spoke to reporters hours after the fatal knife attack at Saint Charles station, saying investigators there "don't know yet" if the double murder "was of a terrorist nature."

Collomb noted that of the 10 witnesses being interviewed, some say they heard the unidentified assailant shouting the Arabic words "Allahu akbar" before committing the slayings.

The suspect, according to Collomb, apparently rushed French soldiers responding to the scene, and they shot him just outside the train station in the port city in southern France.

ISIS’s Amaq propaganda agency said that the perpetrator of the attack was among its "soldiers," according to SITE Intelligence Group, a for-profit company that tracks online activity of white supremacist and jihadist organizations.

French President Emmanuel Macron weighed in on the incident, calling it a "barbarous" act.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe offered his "indignation at the attack" and his "condolences" to the victims' loved ones.

Philippe saluted the "courage and professionalism of the soldiers who have neutralized the criminal and stopped his murderous madness."

Train traffic was suspended after the incident, Marseille police said.

This attack comes weeks after four Boston College students were attacked with acid at the same train station. Two of the students suffered facial injuries and were treated for burns. Soon after the incident authorities arrested the suspect, a 41-year-old woman, who police said has a history of mental illness. The attack on the Boston College students was not terror-related, police said.

ABC News' Paul Pradier and Benjamin Gittleson contributed to this report.

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