French Seek Bombing Leads Death Toll From Subway Attack Reaches 7
Police cast a dragnet across France on Wednesday, detaining hundreds of people for security checks and posting a $200,000 reward for leads in a subway bombing that killed seven people and wounded dozens.
Trying to reassure vacationers at the height of the tourist season, police added an extra 1,800 officers at airports, train stations and large shopping centers around the country. More than 150 people were detained in Paris for identity checks, and about 200 people were checked in Lyon in eastern France.
Three more people died of injuries from the Tuesday evening blast at the Saint-Michel subway station on the Left Bank of the Seine. Eight-four people were wounded, more than a dozen seriously.
Six of the seven dead were identified - five women and one man, all of whom lived in France. The seventh was believed to be a male in his 30s.
There was no reported claim of responsibility for the first fatal bombing in Paris since 1986.
There was speculation that Muslim extremists fighting the government in Algeria, a former French colony, could be to blame, or Bosnian Serbs retaliating for a reported French attack Sunday in Bosnia. A prosecutor told The Associated Press that authorities were also looking into groups linked to Carlos, or Ilyich Ramirez Sanchez, a terrorist arrested last August.
Prime Minister Alain Juppe said the police probe “is moving along, it is progressing even. There are several possible leads.” He declined further comment.
Interior Minister Jean-Louis Debre announced a reward of $200,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the identification of those responsible for the bombing.
“You must help us,” Debre said in an interview on the radio network France-Inter. “You must be vigilant about packages you notice, about people who act suspiciously.”
While public transit remained full of tourists and commuters Wednesday, bomb scares were reported in Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux in the southwest.
More than 8,000 people were cleared from the Louvre museum after an anonymous telephoned bomb threat. A suspicious package prompted the shutdown of Chatelet subway station in Paris, while a music store on the Champs-Elysees was evacuated following a threatening phone call.
No bombs were found.
Security patrols were stepped up at both ends of the Channel Tunnel, in Calais and in Dover, England.
© Copyright 1995 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.