THE man accused of killing two and wounding others in a knife attack in France yesterday had reportedly complained about being confined during the coronavirus lockdown.
Abdallah Ahmed-Osman is alleged to have entered a tobacconist in the southeastern town of Romans-sur-Isère and stabbed a manager and two customers before continuing the attack on the street.
Two of the several people left injured were reported to be in a life-threatening condition.
Ahmed-Osman is one of three Sudanese nationals who have now been taken into police custody, and prosecutors have launched an investigation into a “murder linked to a terrorist enterprise”.
He had been living in a shared flat in the centre of the town, but like others across France was only allowed outside for up to an hour per day.
France remains in the midst of a nationwide lockdown as part of attempts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which has so far infected almost 90,000 people across the country.
A source close to the investigation told the Parisien newspaper that Ahmed-Osman is thought to have been ‘complaining about confinement for a few days’ prior to the attack.
“The word that comes up most often in his early interviews is embittered,” the source said.
“The suspect was visibly disturbed by the confinement.”
One of Ahmed-Osman’s flatmates is reported to be among the people arrested, and neighbours are said to have heard people trying to play sports inside the flat.
Ahmed-Osman was well known in the tobacconists that he allegedly attacked because he regularly bought cigarettes there.
After attacking at least three people in the shop, he entered a nearby butcher’s shop and grabbed another knife, local media said.
The two people killed are thought to have been one of the customers in the tobacconists and the owner of the butcher’s.
Images from the scene showed a heavy police presence after they arrested the assailant at about 11am local time yesterday near a bakery.
Police continue to investigate the motive for the attack.
Responding to the attacks, President Emmanuel Macron said: “My thoughts are with the victims of the Romans-sur-Isère attack, the injured, their families.
“All the light will be shed on this odious act which comes to mourn our country already hard hit these last weeks.”
The incident in the latest in a number of attacks to have taken place in Paris, Nice, and elsewhere in France in recent years.