01/10/2017 14:01 BST | Updated 02/10/2017 09:52 BST

Marseille Knifeman Shot Dead By French Army After Killing Two Women, Interior Ministry Says

Authorities have said it is likely a terror attack.

The French army shot dead a man after he stabbed two women to death at Marseille’s main train station, the French Interior Ministry has confirmed.

Police earlier said they had cordoned off the area and an operation was underway.

Police have warned people to avoid the station. Reuters quoted a “police source” who said the incident was likely a “terror attack”. 

Jean-Paul Pelissier / Reuters
Emergency services outside the station
A French police officer stands outside Saint-Charles train station in Marseille

A witness told Reuters she saw a man take out a knife from his sleeve and then stab a young girl and then a second woman, shouting what could have been “Allahu Akbar.”

She added that she saw soldiers from France’s Sentinelle force who were patrolling in the area arrive on the public square at the Gare Saint-Charles station.

The culprit was estimated to be aged between 25 and 30 and no had no identification papers on him.

Images on social media showed the evacuation of the station and the police presence.

France’s interior minister said on Twitter he was heading to Marseille following the attack.

France’s counter-terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation into the attack.

“We have generally avoided these sort of attacks in Marseille,” regional president Renaud Muselier, who was speaking from the site of the attack, told BFM TV.

“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 metres, so they intervened quickly.”