Explosive device in the Saint-Étienne cathedral in Toulouse: what we know about the situation this Friday
A man burst into the Saint-Étienne cathedral in Toulouse this Friday morning, during mass. While around thirty people showed up in the building, the intruder left two packages in front of the altar before fleeing. One of the packages contains an improvised explosive device containing acid. La Dépêche du Midi takes stock.
A man burst into the Saint-Étienne cathedral in Toulouse this Friday, April 8 in the morning, during mass. While around thirty people showed up in the building, the intruder left two packages in front of the altar before fleeing. One of the packages contains an improvised explosive device containing acid. The Midi Dispatch make the point.
What happened ?
This Friday, April 8, at 8 a.m., a man burst into the Saint-Étienne cathedral in Toulouse (Haute-Garonne), in full office. While around thirty people described themselves in the building, the intruder placed two packages in front of the altar before shouting words that were not understood by the audience.
The individual finally fled, jostling the sexton who tried to intervene: the latter was not injured.
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St-Etienne Cathedral in Toulouse: the package abandoned by a man in the middle of mass contains a homemade explosive device
According to Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior, “the cathedral was then immediately evacuated and a security perimeter around this cathedral was immediately set up by the police and the deminers were immediately engaged. No casualties is to be deplored”, he told the press this Friday morning.
What did the parcels placed in front of the altar contain?
The services of the Ministry of the Interior indicate that the object deposited by the individual resembled “an improvised explosive device, a priori without a firing device”. The package, which measured between 20 to 25 centimeters wide, contained acid. According to the Interior Ministry, the device was neutralized and did not explode. A second package, empty this time, was also found on site. About fifty police officers including deminers were mobilized on the spot. CCTV footage is being analyzed.
What do we know about the suspect?
According to the assistance, the suspect appeared to be a man in his 40s. He was wearing a cap and a mask against the Covid-19. “I took him for a delivery man. He crossed the nave and left the package in front of the altar steps. He jostled me, he said something and he left,” said sexton Aurélien. Dreux near The Midi Dispatch. The police said they were on the trail of the individual, an “unbalanced” according to the terms used.
For the time being, the terrorist track has not been retained and the anti-terrorist prosecution has not been seized. The judicial police are in charge of the investigation.
From Place Beauvau, Gérald Darmanin made a point of “thanking all of the State services, for the speed of their intervention in extremely delicate circumstances”, stated the Minister.
“This morning, I reminded all prefects, police and gendarmerie services of the greatest vigilance during this period of religious holidays”.