Police in France were on Saturday hunting a suspect following a blast in a pedestrian street in the heart of Lyon that lightly wounded 13 people two days ahead of hotly contested European Parliament elections.

President Emmanuel Macron called the Friday evening explosion, from a package believed to have been packed with shrapnel, an “attack” and sent interior minister Christophe Castaner to Lyon.

Police issued an appeal for witnesses on Twitter as they sought the man believed to be in his early 30s, who was picked up by security cameras on a mountain bicycle immediately before the explosion.

An image of the suspect, wearing light-coloured shorts and a longsleeved dark top, was posted. He was described as “dangerous”.

Justice minister Nicole Belloubet told BFM television it was too soon to say whether the blast was a “terrorist act”.

The case was nonetheless handed to the Paris prosecutor for anti-terrorism that deal with all terrorist cases.

The number of wounded stood at 13 people, with 11 taken to hospitals. None of the injuries was life-threatening but included eight women and a 10-year-old girl as well as four men.

A police source said the package contained “screws or bolts”. It had been placed in front of a bakery near a busy corner of two crowded streets at around 17:30 pm.

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