Thursday, June 8, 2023

Authorities say France knife attacker had no terrorist motive

He said that of the four children injured in the assault, one was aged just 22 months, two were two-year-olds, and the eldest was three.

• June 8, 2023
France knife attacker
France knife attacker

A Syrian asylum-seeker suspected of attacking the French Alpine town of Annecy, on Thursday, where six people were stabbed, did not appear to have a “terrorist motive”, authorities told reporters.

The suspect, in his early 30s, was granted refugee status in Sweden in April, according to an AFP report.

In the early hours of Thursday, six people, including children, were injured in a knife attack in Annecy, southwest France.

The attack triggered a wave of panic in the small Alpine town.

Two of the young children and an adult victim are reportedly in critical condition in hospital.

Francois Astorg, the mayor of Annecy, later confirmed that some of the children injured were in stable condition after leaving the operating theatre.

He said that of the four children injured in the assault, one was aged just 22 months, two were two-year-olds, and the eldest was three.

In a video circulating on social media, the attacker can be heard twice saying “in the name of Jesus Christ” in English.

He was, however, arrested at the scene.

The assailant, who was not known to security services, was wearing a “cross” when he was arrested shortly after the attack by Lake Annecy at around 9:45 a.m.

French President, Emmanuel Macron had earlier in a statement on Twitter, described the attack as “an act of absolute cowardice”.

“Children and one adult are between life and death. The nation is in shock,” Mr Macron tweeted on Thursday.

Although, several witnesses claimed that one of the children wounded in the attack was in a stroller.

Among the witnesses was former Liverpool footballer, Anthony le Tallec.

Mr Tellec, 38, who also played for local club Annecy, was out running on the town’s lakeside when he witnessed the attack on a man and police subsequently shooting the attacker.

He described the scene of the attack, the Le Paquiet Park, as a usually tranquil place popular with tourists for its stunning views of Lake Annecy and the mountains.

France has been shocked by several violent incidents over the past few months.

Among the violent attack was the fatal stabbing last month of a nurse in the northern town of Reims.

Mr Macron has denounced what he calls a “de-civilisation process” in the country, while opposition MPs say his government has been too lax on law and order.

“Nothing more abominable than to attack children,” National Assembly speaker Yael Braun-Pivet said on Twitter.

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