Terrorist Attack at Marseille Train Station

A man who killed two people in an apparent terrorist attack was shot and killed by French soldiers on Sunday, October 1, 2017.

The attack happened at the Saint Charles train station in Marseille, France, during the early afternoon. Police are treating the situation as an act of terrorism.

Police chief Olivier de Mazieres confirmed the deaths of two people, aside from the attacker. French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb elaborated that the victims were both young women, ages 17 and 20. Both were killed with a knife; one reportedly had her throat cut.

The attacker has not been identified, but has been described as a North African man in his twenties. He slashed at his victims while shouting "Allahu Akbar;" the Arabic phrase, roughly translated to "God is great," is often used by Islamic terrorists while carrying out their attacks.

The Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the killings, calling the perpetrator one of its "soldiers" and saying that he acted in response to France's actions against the group in Syria and Iraq. France is one of many countries in a United States led coalition against the organization.

The incident underscores a tense situation in France, which is in an ongoing state of emergency after numerous terror attacks in recent years; since 2015, at least 241 people have died in such incidents.

Most of the perpetrators are self-radicalized members of France's immigrant and Muslim communities, which are a growing minority within the country; currently they make up about 10 percent of the population. The continued attacks have only increased the ethnic tensions that exist between them and the native Frenchmen and made increased immigration a controversial topic.

The soldiers who neutralized the terrorist were there as part of Operation Sentinelle, which began after a string of attacks around Paris in January 2015. The effort has seen 10,000 armed soldiers and 4,700 policemen and gendarmes patrolling the streets and protecting key areas which experts believe are likely targets for terrorists.

Marseille mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin spoke out to honor the Sentinelle military forces, saying this incident came “at a time when the number of victims could have been higher."

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the Saint Charles has been in the news lately, as a mentally unbalanced woman threw a corrosive substance at American tourists there last month; police do not believe that that case was terrorism.

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