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At least one dead after car crashes into bus shelters in Marseille

Boris Horvat, AFP | French forensic police search the site where a car crashed into a bus shelter in Marseille on August 21, 2017.

At least one person was killed and another was injured when a van crashed into pedestrians waiting at bus shelters in Marseille on Monday, French police have said.

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Police said the vehicle's 35-year-old driver was arrested in the Vieux-Port neighbourhood in central Marseille, an area popular with tourists and local residents.

A source close to the investigation told Reuters the suspect was known to police for minor crimes and had psychological issues.

The office of France's counter-terrorism prosecutor said it had not taken up the case at this stage.

"The arrest was made in a surprisingly calm fashion, no gunshots were exchanged," David Reverdy, of the Alliance police union in Marseille, told BFM television.

According to local newspaper La Provence, the driver first rammed a bus shelter in the northern neighbourhood of Croix-Rouge at around 8:15am local time (6:15 GMT) before hittting a second shelter an hour later in Valentine, several kilometres south.

He was then stopped by police upon reaching the Vieux-Port, in Marseille's historic city centre.

BFM said a witness noted the license plate of the van and was able to give it to police.

The incident comes as police in neighbouring Spain are hunting for a 22-year-old who is believed to have ploughed a van into a crowd in Barcelona last week, killing 13.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

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