ISIS claims responsibility for knife attack in Marseilles

(STAN MARCELJA/via REUTERS)People are seen outside the Saint-Charles train station in Marseille, France October 1, 2017 in this picture obtained from social media.

The Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for the knife attack in which two women were killed at the main train station in the southern French city of Marseille on Sunday.

A man wielding a knife reportedly yelled "Allahu akbar (Allah is greatest)" as he stabbed the two women to death on Sunday, before he was shot dead by French soldiers.

Police sources said that one of the victims had her throat slit while the other was stabbed in the stomach.

"If the military had not been there, we would have had a lot more deaths," said Samia Ghali, lawmaker for the Marseille region.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, who went to Marseille to meet with local authorities and troops on the scene, noted that the police have obtained a video of the incident.

The footage showed the man attacking a woman and running away before he came back and attacked another woman. The suspect was reportedly seen in the video running toward soldiers, who were rushing to Marseille's Saint Charles train station before he was fatally shot.

According to a report from The Associated Press, the ISIS-linked Amaq news agency issued a statement on Sunday, claiming that the assailant was acting in response to the terror organization's calls to target countries in the U.S.-led coalition fighting the group in Syria and Iraq. The news agency, however, failed to provide details or evidence of a direct link to the attacker.

The Paris prosecutor's office, which oversees all terror cases in France, has launched a counterterrorism investigation into the incident.

French President Emmanuel Macron commended the French soldiers who responded to the attack "with cool heads and efficiency."

Regional President Renaud Muselier, who was speaking from the site of the killings, also noted the quick response of the security services.

"We have generally avoided these sorts of attacks in Marseille," Muselier said. "I think the security services responded extremely quickly. It's difficult to do more because when you see the distance between the two bodies and the attacker it's only 10 meters, so they intervened quickly," he added.

The attack at the train station came as French lawmakers are due to vote on an anti-terrorism law on this week. The much-criticized legislation would enshrine some state-of-emergency powers into law and could reduce the number of military personnel on the ground.

France has been placed in a state of emergency following the wave of terror attacks by Islamic radicals over the last two years, including the November 2015 Paris attack that resulted in the deaths of 130 people.

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