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Man injures 4 children in knife attack in France – DW – 06/08/2023

A man armed with a knife spread terror in a park near Lake Annecy in the French Alps this Thursday (06.08.2023), where he injured five people, including four small children, before being arrested. Officials said the four injured minors are in critical condition. An adult has less severe injuries.

“Absolutely cowardly attack in the park in Annecy this morning. The nation is shocked,” the French president wrote on his Twitter account. Emmanuel Macron, expressing their support for the victims and their families. The 31-year-old attacker, identified as Abdalmasih H., reportedly had documents indicating he was a Syrian refugee and was not registered by police. The man had sought asylum in Sweden and France and declared himself a Christian.

“The man was arrested due to the very quick intervention of law enforcement,” Interior Minister Gerald Dorman said on Twitter. He and Prime Minister Elizabeth Bourne immediately traveled to the area. The counter-terrorism prosecutor’s office, for its part, indicated it would study the circumstances of the attack before deciding whether to take charge of the case.

The attack comes against a backdrop of political tension

Around 09:45 am, the three-year-old children were in the Garden of Europe, a wide open area of ​​grass and woodland with a lake used for boating and other recreational activities, when the attack took place. Witnesses described “terrible” scenes of screaming and bodies lying on the grass. According to them, the perpetrator – who was holding a crucifix and papers with Christian prayers – stabbed some of the children in their prams.

Due to the severity of their injuries, some victims were airlifted to Annecy Genevois Hospital. From the left to the extreme right, political leaders condemned the attack and expressed their solidarity with the victims and their families. The National Assembly observed a minute’s silence.

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Éric Ciotti, the leader of the right-wing opposition party Los Republicanos (LR), which supports asylum tightening, insisted on Thursday that the consequences of the attack should be “drawn without naivety” amid political tensions over future immigration reform. , with strength and clarity”.