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France nabs 2 suspects in Lyon bombing case

France says it has arrested two suspects over a bombing attack that injured 13 people in the southeastern city of Lyon last week.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said Monday that police had arrested a 24-year-old man who matched the accounts eyewitnesses have provided of the suspect.

Castaner confirmed one of the arrests in a tweet, describing the joint action by several agencies as "decisive."

Police and France's internal security service, the DGSI, were looking for a man who was seen cycling near the scene of the blast while sporting a green T-shirt and Bermuda shorts. He also carried a dark rucksack.

The Paris prosecutor's office, which is in charge of probing terror attacks in across France, said in a statement that the unnamed young man was indeed the Lyon bomber.

French media said that the suspect was an IT student of Algerian nationality. Reuters said police waited for him to leave his apartment before making the arrest in case there were explosives in the building.

The second suspect, according to local press, was a minor who attended a school in Lyon. There were no details available about him.

Police launched the manhunt on Friday night, when an explosive device filled with screws and ball bearings went off in front of a bakery near the corner of two crowded pedestrian streets in Lyon’s historic center.

The manhunt saw police circulating photos of their suspect on Twitter and other social media websites, a move that encouraged people with information to make “several dozen” calls and help the officer nail the attacker.

This frame grab from a surveillance camera video posted by the French National Police on their Twitter account on May 25, 2019 shows a man riding a mountain bike in the vicinity of a suspect package bomb blast that took place along a pedestrian street in the historic center of Lyon, southeast France, on May 24, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

According to sources familiar with the investigation, the explosive used to make the bomb was acetone peroxide, or APEX, a volatile compound that was also traced in the deadly Paris attacks on November 13, 2015.

Investigators have recovered small screws, ball bearings and batteries along with a printed circuit and a remote-controlled trigger device from the scene of the investigation. The charge was relatively weak, the officials say.

The attack hurt eight women, four men and a 10-year-old girl. Of them, 11 needed hospital treatment. While none of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening, authorities have suggested that some victims need surgery to remove the shrapnel.

France has been on high alert following a wave of deadly terror attacks that have killed more than 250 people since 2015.

While most of the attacks have been claimed by the Daesh terrorist group, no group has yet to take responsibility for the Lyon blast.

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