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Delivery man beheads boss in suspected Islamist attack on French gas site

Delivery man beheads boss in suspected Islamist attack on French gas site.



A delivery man with known Islamist connections beheaded his boss and left the body, daubed with Arabic writing, at the site of a U.S.-owned gas factory in southeast France before trying to blow up the complex.

The assailant rammed his delivery van into a warehouse containing gas canisters, triggering an initial explosion, and was arrested minutes later as he tried to open canisters containing flammable chemicals, prosecutors said on Friday.

Police found the head of the victim, the 54-year-old manager of the transport firm which employed the suspect, dangling from a fence.

"The head was discovered hanging on the factory's wire fence, framed by two flags that included references to the shahada, or (Muslim) profession of faith," Paris public prosecutor Francois Molins told a news conference.

France is still coming to terms with attacks by Islamist gunmen who killed 17 people in January at a satirical weekly newspaper and a Jewish foodstore.

The latest attack occurred on the same day that a gunman killed at least 37 people at a Tunisian beachside hotel and an Islamist State suicide bomber killed two dozen and wounded more than 200 at a mosque in Kuwait.

"There is no other link other than to say that terrorism is our common enemy," said President Francois Hollande, returning to Paris from an EU summit in Brussels.

"There should be no doubt as to our country's ability to protect itself and remain vigilant," he said, announcing a tightening of national security to levels he said were unprecedented in recent decades.

Hollande said there were inscriptions on the headless body, and police sources said they were in Arabic, but officials did not reveal their content.

FATHER OF THREE

No group claimed responsibility for the French attack and the motive was unknown.
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