08 June 2023

Several children as young as 3 stabbed in frenzied attack by knifeman in French playground

08 June 2023

An attacker with a knife has stabbed several young children and at least one adult, leaving some fighting for life, France’s interior minister said.

Gerald Darmanin said Thursday morning’s attack happened in a square in the lakeside Alpine town of Annecy.

In a short tweet, he said police have detained the alleged attacker.

“Several people including children have been injured by an individual armed with a knife in a square in Annecy,” he wrote.

French President Emmanuel Macron said “children and an adult are between life and death”.

He described the attack as one of “absolute cowardice”.

Some of the children looked very young, witnesses said.

A man told broadcaster BFMTV he saw first aiders working on “little bodies, three or four years old, perhaps”.

We still know very little but all my support for the victims, relatives, law enforcement and rescue

Local politician Antoine Armand said the children were attacked on a playground near a primary school.

Speaking to BFMTV from the National Assembly building in Paris, he said the victims include “very young” children who were “savagely attacked”.

An Interior Ministry official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak about the developing situation, said four children and two adults have been hurt.

He said that number could change because the full details are not yet clear.

Police also said four children are among the injured, with two suffering life-threatening injuries and two escaping with minor injuries.

One adult also suffered life-threatening injuries, the force said while also warning of an evolving situation.

In Paris, politicians interrupted a debate to hold a moment of silence for the victims.

The assembly president, Yael Braun-Pivet, said: “There are some very young children who are in critical condition and I invite you to respect a minute of silence for them, for their families, and so that, we hope, the consequences of this very grave attack do not lead to the nation grieving.”

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