An Afghan asylum seeker who allegedly killed a man and stabbed several others in the French city of Lyon sparked an immigration dispute on Sunday when new details emerged about his uproar.
The alleged 33-year-old murderer had stabbed a 19-year-old boy to death and wounded eight others on Saturday afternoon in the suburb of Villeurbanne, in Lyon, before the locals cornered him and the police arrested him.
Until now, French investigators treat stabbings with a knife and a skewer of meat as a criminal incident, rather than a terrorist attack, amid reports that the author was a drug addict.
The far-right figure, Marine Le Pen, criticized what he called "the laxity of immigration policy" in France and said it was "a serious threat to the security of the French." But the mayor of Villeurbanne, Jean-Paul Bret, of the socialist party, accused her and others of the right and extreme right of "exploiting things politically."
"It is the classic reaction of the extreme right that tries to turn a dramatic event to its benefit," he told RTL radio station
He also reminded Le Pen that offering asylum to people fleeing the conflict in places like Afghanistan was an international duty that France maintained.
A group of passers-by and employees of the city's transport network stopped the uproar of the knife man at a bus station in the northeast part of Lyon and managed to corner him.
Sofiane, a 17-year-old from the area, said AFP on Sunday that the dead man was one of the first to try to reason with the knife man.
He "stabbed him and then, when he fell to the ground, he continued," Sofiane explained.
Mayor Bret paid tribute to the "courage" of the local people who had helped prevent further bloodshed, as well as the police.
Prosecutors are scheduled to give a press conference later Sunday.
France has been the victim of a series of terrorist attacks since 2015 that have cost hundreds of lives.