A man shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ attacked two women with a hammer in Chalon-sur-Saone, French authorities confirmed. The attacker escaped the scene, but police have launched a large-scale manhunt using a helicopter.

”A man assaulted two women using a hammer, slightly injuring one of them in the back of the head; both victims are in shock. The events took place near the city centre,” Saône and Loire Prefecture confirmed.

The prefecture said that the attacker, who was “dressed in black,” shouted “Allahu Akbar,” adding that the man fled the scene of the incident.

The town’s mayor, Gilles Platret, said that police have launched “a large-scale operation” to seek the perpetrator.

“That’s why a helicopter of the gendarmerie is currently flying over our city,” he said in a statement on Facebook.

France’s Public Prosecutor has also confirmed that the man was shouting “Allahu Akbar”, Le Journal reports.

According to a source close to the investigation, preliminary indications are that the act was carried out by a mentally unstable person, the outlet said.  

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