Four US tourists attacked with acid in Marseille, France

Tourists sprayed with acid at French train station

French police say it is too early to determine if the incident was terrorism related.

In 2013, two American women, Kirstie Trup and Katie Gee, both 18, who were teaching on the island of Zanzibar, were attacked with acid by two men on a moped who stopped, smiled and doused them, severely burning their faces, chests and hands, before speeding away.

14 firefighters rushed to the scene in four emergency vehicles as the horror unfolded.

La Provence, the main local newspaper, quoted police sources as saying that after the attack, the suspect had displayed pictures of herself with burns on her body.

No other information on where the USA tourists were from was released.

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Two of the tourists, aged 20 and 21, received facial injuries and have been taken to hospital.

Marseille is a port city in southern France that is closer to Barcelona than Paris.

The woman was arrested and detained by the police minutes after the attack, a police spokeswoman said.

French media reports are describing the attacker using the word "déséquilibré", meaning a psychological imbalance. The police prefecture said they were not treating the attack as a terrorist assault. The alarming rise comes amid a clampdown on weapons and fears of a frightening new crime fad involving teenage motorbike thieves using corrosive substances, in part because they are relatively easy to obtain, The Washington Post reported last month.

"We are seeing some links - although it has to be treated with caution because it's a small data set - of a growing feature between named suspects in acid attacks who also feature in our gang matrix", Mackey said.

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