One man was killed and another seriously injured on Friday when a man with a baseball bat attacked worshippers in a mosque in the town of Arras in northern France, a police source said.
The attacker, who was identified as a 32-year-old French man of Moroccan origin, was suffering from mental health problems and had been treated in a psychiatric hospital several times, the source said. He was being questioned by police.
Pas-de-Calais prosecutor Denis Robin told Reuters the attacker was a member of the Muslim community in Arras, and known to the other worshippers in the mosque.
Two other people were slightly injured in the attack, the police source said.
“He is a young Muslim who attended the mosque and was known as someone unbalanced,” Abdelkader Assouedj, regional representative for the Federation of the Grand Mosque of Paris, told AFP.
He said the man had been asked not to return to the mosque because of his “odd behavior” during prayers but had turned up on Friday.
“The first indications I have is that it is the act of a person who had a psychiatric history,” Interior Minister Claude Gueant told AFP, describing the attack as an act of “incredible brutality.”