Explosion in Lyon, France, injures at least 8

Explosion in Lyon, France, injures at least 8

Explosion in Lyon, France, injures at least 8

According to reports in the French press a man was seen arriving in the area on a bike before leaving some kind of package or suitcase at the scene. The package exploded a few minutes later at about 5:30 pm local time.

Friday's explosion occurred in a pedestrian area crowded with people beginning their weekend, not far from Place Bellecour, a large square in the centre of the city popular with tourists and local residents.

Shortly after evacuating the area, police expanded the security perimeter after two abandoned bags were found in a children's park at the nearby Bellcour square, though bomb disposal teams later determined they were harmless.

Julien-Laferriere said police suspected that the bag was an explosive device that contained nuts and bolts meant to harm people nearby.

An investigation into "terrorist conspiracy" has been opened, French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet announced hours after the explosion.

President Emmanuel Macron characterized the incident as an "attack" when the news broke during a live YouTube interview ahead of Sunday's European elections.

"There was an attack in Lyon, everyone knows", Macron said, according to Express UK. I was warned by several direct witnesses.

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Another hotel owner saw "metal plates on the floor as a kind of circuit board and scattered papers".

"It was the windows ... that superficially injured the people who were 1, 2 or 3 metres away", he said. "But in fact it was an abandoned package", he said.

Those hurt in the explosion on Victor-Hugo Street, including a girl aged eight, appear to have suffered superficial injuries. One thing is certain: it was a machine meant to hurt, it was an explosive device.

Lyon is the third-biggest city in France.

This is breaking news, updates to follow.

A policeman looks on near the site of a suspected bomb attack in central Lyon, France, May 24, 2019.

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