Another knife attack rocks France, victims in stable condition
Four young children, aged between one and three, who were stabbed yesterday in a park in Annecy, France, are now in stable condition and receiving treatment in hospital. A Dutch child and a three-year-old British are among the victims.
Two adults were also stabbed in the incident, with one currently in critical condition. Police overpowered and arrested the knifeman, a 31-year-old Syrian, who had refugee status in Sweden. The brutal act hasn’t been linked to any kind of terrorist motivation.
According to police, the suspect recently came to France, leaving behind a wife and their three-year-old daughter in Sweden. In an unsuccessful asylum application in 2022 for refugee status in France, he said he was a Syrian Christian.
Video footage uploaded to social media shows life going on as normal in a little playground, and then a man comes in with a knife – clearly looking for kids to stab and he attacks one in a pushchair. Screams of shocked witnesses could be heard in the background.
Regional deputy Antoine Armand said authorities were investigating, but knew “very little”. French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne went to the crime scene, telling a news conference the suspect has “no criminal or psychiatric record”.
President Emmanuel Macron took to Twitter to condemn the “act of cowardice”. Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak said, “All our thoughts are with those affected”, adding “We stand ready to offer any assistance that we can.” The British prime minister is currently on a trip to the US.
France has seen multiple knife attacks in recent years, often carried out by solitary young men with some Islamist connection or backgrounds in petty crime. But it’s clear the Thursday stabbing incident is of a different nature.
Nevertheless, although so far, most politicians in the country have been careful not to jump to conclusions, it is inevitable the incident will feed into heated debates on immigration.