Four American tourists suffer acid attack in Marseille

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    A woman with ‘deep psychological problems’ was in custody in the French city of Marseille Sunday after spraying four American tourists with acid and burning two in the face.

    The horrifying attack took place shortly after 11am at the Gare de Marseille-Saint-Charles station, where the party from the US was preparing to board a train.

    The 41-year-old attacker used a cleaning substance containing hydrochloric acid that she is thought to have picked up from a local DIY store.

    The horrifying attack took place shortly after 11am at the Gare de Marseille-Saint-Charles station (file image) 

    The horrifying attack took place shortly after 11am at the Gare de Marseille-Saint-Charles station (file image) 

    After carrying out the assault, the woman displayed photos of her own burns, allegedly picked up in an earlier incident.

    ‘Two American women aged 20 were hit in the face, while the other two were sprayed in the legs, and were mainly suffering from shock,’ said a source close to the case.

    ‘The two with facial injuries were taken to hospital, while the others were treated at the scene. They were also aged 20 or 21. The attacker wanted to show off photographs of her own injuries.

    ‘She was arrested at the scene and faces charges. She displayed clear signs of suffering from deep psychological problems.’

    According to witnesses, no slogans were shouted out during the attack, and it was not thought to be terrorist related.

    Prosecutors have opened a criminal enquiry, while none of those involved have yet been named. 

    A spokeswoman for the prosecutor office said two of the tourists have been injured in the face and one of them has a possible eye injury. 

    She said all four of the tourists have been hospitalized, two of them for shock. 

    Four emergency services vehicles arrived at the station (file image), which was packed on a Sunday morning at the tail-end of the holiday season 

    Four emergency services vehicles arrived at the station (file image), which was packed on a Sunday morning at the tail-end of the holiday season 

    Four emergency services vehicles arrived at the station (file image), which was packed on a Sunday morning at the tail-end of the holiday season 

    The Americans were thought to be on their way from the southern Mediterranean city to Paris.

    Four emergency services vehicles arrived at the station, which was packed on a Sunday morning at the tail-end of the holiday season.

    Paris remains under a State of Emergency following a string of terrorist attacks carried out by Islamic State and Al-Qaeda operatives over the past two years.

    Security at transport hubs including rail stations has been massively stepped up because of threats by the groups to target them.

    Corrosive substances are increasingly being used as weapons in Europe, including in Britain, where there were 450 such attacks in London alone in last year.

    Acid-based products are easy to purchase, and can be paid for in cash, so there is no trace of who bought them.       

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