French emergency workers arrive at the scene of a suspected package bomb blast along a pedestrian street in the heart of Lyon, southeast France, the local prosecutors' office said on May 24, 2019.
Philippe Desmazes | AFP | Getty Images
French police were hunting a suspected suitcase on Friday after an explosion in the central city of Lyon that injured 13 people, officials said.
shortly before an explosion occurred at around 5:30 pm, police sources and local mayor Denis Broliquier said.
President Emmanuel Macron characterized the incident as an "attack" when the news broke during a live YouTube interview ahead of Sunday's European elections. "My thoughts are with the injured," he said.
Paris anti-terrorism prosecutors opened an investigation as police said they were treating as an attempted homicide, and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner headed to the scene.
The Partially masked suspect appeared in wheeling a security camera footage to the scene, before leaving a branch of Brioche Doree, a popular bakery chain.
Police sources described the suspected attacker as a European or North African male, seen wearing beige bermuda shorts, an army-green scarf or head wrap and dark glasses
Soon after he left, the blast rained metal bolts on the front of the premises on rue Victor Hugo, several blocks from the city's main station, according to to police
Police forces across France have been instructed to increase security in public places and event venues, Castaner said.