A manhunt was under way in Lyon in the south-east of France after an explosion slightly injured 13 people in the city centre during rush hour on Friday evening.
Police were hunting for a 30 to 35-year-old man wearing a hood and dark glasses who was suspected of leaving a parcel bomb in a bag or suitcase outside a bakery in the rue Victor Hugo that exploded shortly after 17.30 local time. Video camera footage showed him leaving on a bicycle.
Christophe Castaner, French interior minister, said on Twitter he had ordered the authorities to reinforce security at public places and at sporting and cultural events. Anti-terrorist troops and police were guarding the scene.
President Emmanuel Macron described the incident as an “attack”, and local officials said the explosive device appeared to include bolts or projectiles that fortunately had not caused serious injury. The motive for the blast was not immediately clear. A glass display case was broken at the bakery.
Denis Broliquier, mayor of the second district of Lyon, said that panic had lasted only about a minute and that the blast was like a “big firework”. He told BFMTV: “It was not the apocalypse.”