Attacker kills two women at Marseille railway station

Two women were stabbed to death and their assailant shot dead by soldiers in the southern French port city of Marseille on Sunday in what police sources described as a “likely terrorist act”.

Three police sources said the suspect had shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) as he carried out his attack at Marseille’s main railway station.

The two victims – one aged 17 and the other 20 – suffered gory injuries, two police sources said, saying one had her throat slit while the other was stabbed in the stomach.

“If the military had not been there, we would have had a lot more deaths,” Samia Ghali, lawmaker for the Marseille region, told France Bleu Province radio.

Some 200 police officers had cordoned off the area and all roads were closed to traffic, with security forces saying the operation was still ongoing.

The Paris prosecutor opened a counter-terrorism probe. (Reuters)

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Attacker kills two women at Marseille railway station

Investigative police officer work by a body under a white sheet outside Marseille ‘s main train station Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Attacker kills two women at Marseille railway station

Emergency services vehicles are seen outside the Saint-Charles train station after French soldiers shot and killed a man who stabbed two women to death at the main train station in Marseille, France, Oct. 1, 2017. (Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters)

Attacker kills two women at Marseille railway station

Passengers cross the street by a police car blocking the access to Marseille ‘s main train station, Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France. French police have warned people to avoid Marseille’s main train station following a knife attack that made at least one dead. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Attacker kills two women at Marseille railway station

Passengers wait as a French soldier gestures outside Marseille ‘s main train station, Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France. French police warn people to avoid Marseille’s main train station amid reports of knife attack. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Attacker kills two women at Marseille railway station

French police officers block access on the stairs leading to Marseille ‘s main train station, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France. French police warn people to avoid Marseille’s main train station amid reports of knife attack, assailant shot dead. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Attacker kills two women at Marseille railway station

A body lies under a white sheet outside Marseille ‘s main train station, Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France. A man with a knife attacked people at the main train station in the southeastern French city of Marseille on Sunday, killing two women before soldiers fatally shot the assailant, officials said. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Attacker kills two women at Marseille railway station

Passengers wait in front a line a police officers blocking the access to Marseille ‘s main train station, Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France. French police have warned people to avoid Marseille’s main train station following a knife attack that made at least one dead. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Attacker kills two women at Marseille railway station

Investigative police officers works by a body under a white sheet outside Marseille ‘s main train station, Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France. A man with a knife attacked people at the main train station in the southeastern French city of Marseille on Sunday, killing two women before soldiers fatally shot the assailant, officials said. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Attacker kills two women at Marseille railway station

French police officers block access on the stairs leading to Marseille ‘s main train station, Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France. French police warn people to avoid Marseille’s main train station amid reports of knife attack, assailant shot dead. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Attacker kills two women at Marseille railway station

French soldiers patrol outside the Marseille railway station, Oct. 1, 2017. French police warn people to avoid Marseille’s main train station amid reports of knife attack, assailant shot dead. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Attacker kills two women at Marseille railway station

Investigative police officers work at a body outside Marseille ‘s main train station, Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France. A man with a knife attacked people at the main train station in the southeastern French city of Marseille on Sunday, killing two women before soldiers fatally shot the assailant, officials said. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Attacker kills two women at Marseille railway station

French police officers patrol outside the Marseille railway station, Oct. 1, 2017. French police warn people to avoid Marseille’s main train station amid reports of knife attack, assailant shot dead. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Attacker kills two women at Marseille railway station

An investigative police officer works by a body under a white sheet outside Marseille ‘s main train station, Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France. A man with a knife attacked people at the main train station in the southeastern French city of Marseille on Sunday, killing two women before soldiers fatally shot the assailant, officials said. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Attacker kills two women at Marseille railway station

Passengers leave Marseille ‘s main train station, Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France. A man with a knife attacked people at the main train station in Marseille on Sunday, killing one person before soldiers shot dead the assailant, officials said. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)