A woman has died and another person is injured after an man deliberately drove a stolen van into two bus stops during morning rush hour in Marseille, southern France.
A man was injured in the first crash, which took place at around 8am, and a 42-year-old woman was killed in the second, about one hour later.
The suspect, a 35-year-old man, fled both scenes, and was later arrested in the city’s Old Port area.
Crash: Police investigate the stolen van which was used to crash into two bus stops in Marseille during rush hour on Monday morning
Fear: A white sheet is erected as a body of a victim is evacuated to a waiting ambulance at the site of one of two car crashes in Marseille
The suspect had reportedly stolen the van before deliberately driving it into a packed bus shelter in the Croix-Rouge area of Marseille just after 8am.
The driver then sped off, as ambulances were called to deal with people who had been injured in the attack.
An hour later, at 9am, the same vehicle was seen crashing into a stop in an area of the city known as Valentine, five miles away from the first crash.
The man was then arrested in the Old Port, thanks to a member of the public who noted the registration number of the car and called police.
Marseille’s Old Port was then cordoned off by police and members of the public told to stay away.
The suspect, a French national, has convictions for theft, drugs trafficking and carrying illegal weapons, police said.
Accused: The van stolen by the 35-year-old – who has a long criminal record – stands parked in Marseille’s Old Port
No entry: Police cordoned off the city’s Old Port area after the man was apprehended
The suspect was arrested shortly after the two attacks, and police are not treating the incident as a terrorist attack
Tour of horror: The suspect targeted commuters in two separate crashes in Marseille, before he was arrested in the city’s Old Port
A police source said: ‘He first attacked a bus stop in the Red Cross area, and then headed towards a shopping centre in Valentine.
‘He targeted another bus stop in front of a fast food restaurant. There were a lot of people on their way to work.
‘The attack lasted less than 15 seconds, but was very deliberate. The van mounted the pavement and rammed into pedestrians.
‘The van then headed off into the city centre. It was in the Old Port that it was immobilised by police. The man tried to get away, but then gave himself up calmly.
‘There was no resistance, and no shots fired. Bomb disposal experts arrived at the scene to search the vehicle, but no explosives or arms were found.’
Casualties: French forensic police attend one of the bus stops hit by a man in a van during Monday morning rush hour
Taken in: The man was then arrested in the Old Port, after a member of the public noted the registration number of the car and called police
Officers at work: French police conduct their investigation on the streets of Marseille following the double-crash this morning
It follows last week’s terrorist slaughter in Barcelona, 300 miles along the Mediterranean coast, when 14 people were killed in a van attack, and scores of others injured.
France remains under a State of Emergency following a long string of terrorist atrocities, including an attempt to kill a soldier at the Eiffel Tower earlier this month.
The 19-year-old psychiatric patient is in custody after he brandished a knife and pledged allegiance to Isis.
In April, 39-year-old police officers Xavier Jugele was shot dead while on duty on the Champs Elysee just days before the French presidential election.
Isis claimed the killing by Karim Cheurfi, also 39, who was shot dead by police in a gun battle. Two other officers were injured in the attack.
Investigation: Marseille police have said the crashes were ‘very deliberate’
Stopping traffic: Police can be seen cordoning off the Old Port, in this image posted on social media
In June an Algerian student shouted ‘This is for Syria’ as he tried to attack a policeman with a hammer outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. He was shot and ended up in custody in hospital.
And in March a convicted criminal with links to radical Islam shouted ‘I am here to die for Allah, there will be deaths’ seconds before he was shot dead during an attack at Paris Orly airport.
Ziyed Ben Belgacem, a 39-year-old career criminal, was killed after wrestling a soldier’s gun from her and fleeing into a McDonald’s restaurant.
It followed the shooting in February of a man outside the Louvre museum in the heart of Paris after he attempted to storm the historic art gallery.