French President, Hollande, Reacts To Terror Attack | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


French President, Hollande, Reacts To Terror Attack

Posted: Jun 26, 2015 at 12:55 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ejikeme Omenazu, Lagos

FRENCH President, Francois Hollande, has confirmed that the Friday June 26, 2015 morning attack on a factory near Lyon in south-east France was indeed a terror attack.

Hollande spoke in Brussels where he was attending a European Union summit. He was billed to return to his country on Friday afternoon.

The attack left one dead and several people wounded, although all the workers at the factory had been accounted for, leaving the suspicion of terror attack.

The headless body of the dead had been found while the severed head was found hanging on the gate of the factory, with some Arabic inscriptions.

Experts were said to be investigating the inscriptions to see if it has a link with the ISIS terror group.

The attackers seemed to have capitalised on an ongoing Taxi protests against Uber, a US transport company which charges lower fares, to launch the attack on France.

France has already ordered a clampdown on Uber, following the protests by French taxi operators.

The factory, which was hit by the terrorists on Friday morning, is owned by Air Products, a US company, headquartered in Pennsylvania.

The company supplies gases, chemicals and equipment for products ranging from TVs and mobile phones to sports cars and running shoes.

Air Products was founded in 1940 and has grown to be the 276th largest company in the US with $10.4billion of global sales last year. It employs more than 20,000 people in 50 countries.

Its French subsidiary was created in 1990 and it employs 400 people in the country across a number of sites.

It is the third largest producer of atmospheric gases in France with over 15 per cent of national production.

In his statement, Hollande confirmed that the attack happened just before local time on Friday June 26, 2015, when two suspects drove into the factory. He said they attacked the factory “using gas canisters”.

Here’s a translation of what he said:

“We have no doubt the attack was intended to blow up the building. The attack bears the hallmarks of a terrorist attack. A decapitated body was found with inscriptions written on it. There was one dead and two injured. The Interior Minister went to the scene immediately. The suspect who carried out this attack was arrested and identified.”

He did not give any details about the second attacker.

Speaking in Brussels, Hollande said fellow European leaders had all expressed their solidarity with France after the attacks. He confirmed he was due to head back to Paris after the statement.

Hollande said two attackers drove into the factory. “The attack bears the hallmarks of a terrorist attack,” he said.

He confirmed that a body was found at the scene with inscriptions on it. Two others were injured. The attackers were trying to blow up the plant, Hollande said.

Meanwhile, one person was arrested and has been identified, he said.

Hollande would return home early from the EU summit, an official had confirmed to AFP.

“He will return early this afternoon and is in constant contact with interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve and the security services,” the official said, adding that he would make a statement to the press in Brussels.

“The president saw the first images of the attack on the 24-news channels with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, beside him, who was visibly shocked,” an official added.

French officials have, however, suggested that the severed head was brought to the scene, according to media reports.

This was as all the workers at the factory had been accounted for.