Belfast Telegraph

Terrorists 'not involved' in Marseille van tragedy

By Staff Reporter

French police have ruled out terrorism as a motive after a van rammed into two Marseille bus stops, killing a woman at one of them.

A police official said "the terrorist motive is completely rejected" for the incident yesterday morning.

Police had already said that the driver of the white van that hit the bus stops in two neighbourhoods is being treated for psychological problems.

The 35-year-old suspect was arrested in the Old Port neighbourhood of France's second largest city.

The collisions at the bus stops about five kilometres (three miles) apart came days after back-to-back van attacks in Barcelona and the Spanish resort town of Cambrils killed 15 people.

Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the two attacks in Spain.

It was the second time in a week that a driver in France with mental health problems allegedly killed a person with a vehicle and was thought by authorities to have acted deliberately, but without terrorist intent.

The Marseille driver, who has not been identified by name, is being held for questioning.

BFM-TV said a witness noted the van's licence plate number and was able to give it to police, allowing them to make the arrest.

Nearly an hour passed between when the first bus stop was slammed into and the second, the police official said.

She could not confirm reports that the white van had been stolen.

Belfast Telegraph

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