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France: Acid attack on 4 US tourists not seen as terror act

(Photo, MGN Online) 

PARIS (AP) -- Four young female U.S. tourists were attacked with acid Sunday in the French city of Marseille by a woman who has been arrested, the Marseille prosecutor's office said.

French authorities so far do not think extremist views motivated the 41-year-old woman who was arrested as the alleged assailant.

Two of the tourists were injured in the face in the attack in the city's main Saint Charles train station and one of them has a possible eye injury, a spokeswoman for the Marseille prosecutor's office told The Associated Press in a phone call.

The spokeswoman says there were no immediate indications that the attack was terror-related but adds that officials can't be 100 percent sure about ruling out terror links at such an early stage of the investigation.

She said all four of the tourists, who are in their 20s, have been hospitalized, two of them for shock. She said a 41-year-old female suspect has been arrested.

The spokeswoman did not release any further details about the victims or the suspect. She spoke on condition of anonymity, per the French judicial system.

The Daily Mail is reporting the 41-year-old has "deep psychological problems" and used a cleaning substance containing hydrochloric acid. Witness also tell the website no slogans were shouted during the attack.

There was no immediate information on where the U.S. tourists were from. According to intel provided to The Daily Mail, it is believed the Americans were on their way to Paris.

Marseille is a port city in southern France that is closer to Barcelona than Paris.

In previous incidents in Marseille, a driver deliberately rammed into two bus stops last month, killing a woman, but officials said it wasn't terror-related.

In April, French police say they thwarted an imminent "terror attack" and arrested two suspected radicals in Marseille just days before the first round of France's presidential election. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters the two suspects "were getting ready to carry out an imminent, violent action" on French territory.

In January 2016, a 15-year-old Turkish Kurd was arrested after attacking a Jewish teacher on a Marseille street. He told police he acted in the name of the Islamic State group.

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