French President Francois Hollande said one person was decapitated and two injured in an apparent terror attack on a U.S.-owned factory in his country Friday.
Hollande said a suspect had been arrested following the attack on the Air Products plant in southeastern France’s town of Saint-Quentin Fallavier.
The president — who told reporters that the decapitated body was found with “inscriptions” on it — said the attack bore the hallmarks of terrorism, adding that security has been stepped up at sensitive sites in France.
He said there was “no doubt” that the attacker — possibly acting with an accomplice — intended to blow up the entire plant.
French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve — who had immediately traveled to the scene — told reporters there that the suspect was known to authorities and had previously been investigated for radicalization.
An interior ministry official earlier told NBC News that an explosion occurred after a car drove onto the scene.
The severed head was found hanging on a fence along a nearby road, according to local newspaper La Dauphine Libere, which said that an Islamist flag also was found nearby.
Air Products said the situation at the site had been “contained.”
“Our priority at this stage is to take care of our employees, who have been evacuated from the site and all accounted for,” the Allentown, Pennsylvania-based company said in a statement.
The beheaded person was not a worker at the factory, Le Monde reported, citing prosecutors.
France has been on high alert following the deadly January attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket.