Four American tourists were attacked with acid at a French train station Sunday morning, local police report. The four Americans were all women, believed to be in their twenties, and suffered a number of injuries to their faces, arms, and legs. The injuries include burns, and one is believed to have suffered an eye injury.
The acid attack on Americans is the latest in a series of such attacks in Europe, which have increased in frequency over the past few years. Acid has become a favorite weapon to use, as other weapons are harder to obtain. Women are often the target, although many attackers have been known to chose victims at random.
The women were attacked in Marseille’s main train station on Sunday, and the suspect, a woman herself, is under arrest. French officials insist the incident is not terror-related.
The Daily Mail reports the attacker is a 41-year-old woman who seemed disturbed and appeared to have acid burns herself.
The four Americans were all hospitalized after the attack.
The four American women, said to be in their 20s, were in the Gare de Marseille-Saint-Charles train station when the acid attack happened, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Two of the women had the corrosive liquid sprayed in their face, leaving one with a possible eye injury.
The tourists were hospitalized after the attack. Two of the women were treated for shock.
Marseille is a port city in southern France that is closer to Barcelona than Paris. The city is just over three hours away from Paris by train.
French police said they thwarted an imminent “terror attack” in April. Two suspected radicals were arrested on suspicion of preparing to “carry out an imminent, violent action” on French territory.
Although it is too early to speculate, past acid attacks were often committed by foreigners from the Middle East, where acid attacks are far more common. Since the rash of attacks has begun, however, home-grown “copycats” have also sprung up.