Four children critically wounded in knife attack in French Alpine town


The prosecutor leading an investigation into a horrific knife attack in a French Alpine town says four children aged between 22 months and 3 years suffered life-threatening wounds and that two adults also were injured.

The prosecutor said the attacker's motives remain unknown but do not appear to be terrorism-related.

The suspect, a 31-year-old Syrian, was detained following the Thursday morning attack in Annecy. French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said the man has refugee status in Sweden.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP's earlier story follows below.

PARIS (AP) — As bystanders screamed for help, a man with a knife stabbed several very young children, including at least one in a stroller, and also assaulted adults at a lakeside park in the French Alps on Thursday. The savagery left at least two children and one adult with life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

A suspect, identified by police as a 31-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker, was detained.

Video appearing to show the attack in and around a children's play park in the Alpine and lakeside town of Annecy was posted on social media. The footage showed a man in dark glasses and with a blue scarf covering his head brandishing a knife, as people screamed for help.

The man appeared to shout "on name of Jesus Christ" as he waved his knife in the air, while people nearby could be heard screaming: "Police! Police!"

He slashed at a man carrying rucksacks who tried to approach him. Inside the enclosed play park, a panicked woman frantically pushed a stroller as the attacker approached, yelling "Help! Help!" and ramming the stroller into the barriers around the site in her terror.

She tried to fend off the attacker but couldn't keep him from leaning over the stroller and stabbing downward repeatedly. Afterward, the man strolled almost casually out of the park, letting himself out through a gate, with the man carrying two rucksacks still chasing after him.

French President Emmanuel Macron described the assault as an "attack of absolute cowardice." Of the victims, he said "children and an adult are between life and death."

"The nation is in shock," Macron tweeted.

Local police said the four child victims all were under age 5. A British child was among the injured, said U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

French national police said two of the children, both around 3, suffered life-threatening injuries, as did one adult.

A witness who spoke to French broadcaster BFMTV said he saw the attacker jumping on an elderly man, and stabbing him repeatedly. The witness said he yelled at police to act.

"I screamed, screamed at them to intervene," he said.

An ice cream seller who works in the waterside park said he'd seen the attacker there several days earlier, looking out at the lake ringed by mountains.

Local police said a second adult also was injured and was being treated with the others in a hospital. They gave no other details about the victim, and the discrepancy in the number of adult victims wasn't immediately explained.

Eleanor Vincent, an American author vacationing in Annecy, told The Associated Press of her shock at seeing an emergency helicopter descending to the picturesque park.

"As soon as I heard the sirens and saw police running, I knew something horrible was happening. I am in shock. It's a park where they take children out to walk," Vincent said.

Crowds stood in "absolute silence," dumbfounded as the tragedy unfolded, she said.

"As a parent who has lost a child, I know what these parents are experiencing. It's a horror beyond belief," Vincent added.

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

The assembly president, Yaël 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."

Comments 4
Thumb joebustani 08 June 2023, 14:28

French Intelligence sources revealed to Becky Jaeger, AP French Alps Correspondent and Bureau Chief, the culprit is an Alawi Syrian supporter of the Lebanese Iranian backed Hezbollah terror group. The culprit goes by the name of Hassan bin Hussain Bin Abbas and his status is listed as refugee. Further investigations revealed the culprit has been a member of the terror group for 10 years and seemingly was upset by the celebrations of the LGBTQ+ community during the pride month. He revealed to investigators that his religious beliefs derived from Shia Islam do not tolerate Gay and Lesbian lifestyles while admiring that he himself goes by the pronouns of "they".

Thumb joebustani 08 June 2023, 14:29


Thumb Mrowwe 09 June 2023, 03:26

He was a christian. Perhaps one of the many knife massacres/killings that the maronite LF and maronite Kataeb did against Muslims, Druze and other christians inspired him. I heard the kids in this brutal attack were Muslims.

Thumb 08 June 2023, 15:58

Neoliberalism is an ideology that promotes shorter sentences for individuals convicted of crimes. Under this approach, even individuals responsible for severe offenses, such as killing one or multiple people, may receive a prison sentence of 30 years. However, due to the emphasis on rehabilitation and the belief in the potential for "personal transformation", an individual may become eligible for early release after serving 17 years. Criminals love Western Europe and the very neoliberal LGBTQI++ cult.