PARIS — At least five people, including four children, have been injured after a knife attack in the southeast French town of Annecy, near the border with Switzerland. Two of the children and an adult have “life-threatening injuries,” according to officials.
Police say the attacker was arrested at the scene, and his identity papers showed he’s a Syrian national born in 1991.
The man was not known to local authorities, but apparently entered France legally and applied for asylum last November. He had lived in Sweden for ten years and had refugee status there.
President Emmanuel Macron denounced the incident as an “attack of absolute cowardice”.
“The nation is in shock,” Macron wrote on Twitter, adding: “Our thoughts are with them as well as their families and the mobilized rescue services.”
In Paris, lawmakers interrupted a debate to hold a moment of silence for the victims.
Local TV channel BFM reports the attach happened in a park on the shores of Lake Annecy, “in a playground with boats, pedalos and countless tourists,” an eyewitness is quoted as saying.
The assailant “jumped out”, “started shouting, went towards the pushchairs and started repeatedly stabbing the children”, another witness said.
One man said he saw “children and a mother on the ground”. “When he [the attacker] saw that he was surrounded by police officers, he went towards a couple and stabbed the elderly woman.”
“The situation is under control and there is no longer any danger,” Annecy Mayor François Astorg told Le Monde. — Euronews