Reporters work near a subway station after an assailant stabbed one person to death and injured nine others, Saturday Aug.31, 2019 just outside a subway station in Villeurbanne, outside Lyon, central France. The reason for the attack is unclear. (AP Photo/Nicolas Vaux-Montagny)

Knife attack kills 1, injures 9 near Lyon; suspect detained

August 31, 2019 - 1:20 pm

VILLEURBANNE, France (AP) — Police detained an Afghan man seeking asylum in France after one person was fatally stabbed and nine others injured Saturday outside a subway station near the city of Lyon, authorities said. The reason for the attack was unclear.

The assailant was a 33-year-old Afghan citizen who had applied for asylum in France and was awaiting a response, according to a national police official. The attacker provided contradictory information to police, but that the attack did not appear to be terrorism-related, two French officials told The Associated Press.

The victim who died was a 19-year-old man, and it was unclear if he knew the attacker, according to local police. Three of the injured are in critical condition, officials said.

The subway station in the Lyon suburb of Villeurbanne was cordoned off, with police combing the area.

A manhunt was initially launched for a second attacker but police later determined that the detained man was the main suspect, two officials said. Police are still looking for possible accomplices.

The officials were not authorized to be publicly named because of French government policy.

The national anti-terrorism prosecutor's office has not been asked to participate in the investigation at this stage. An official with the Lyon regional administration said national security forces weren't involved in the search, which includes a few dozen local police officers and a helicopter.

France remains on high alert after several deadly Islamic extremist attacks in 2015 and 2016.

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Charlton reported from Paris.

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