Four children and an adult have been injured in a knife attack in the picturesque town of Annecy in France.
At least three of the victims are in a critical condition in hospital.
The attack was carried out by a Syrian man who was seeking refugee status. BBC reports that there’s nothing on the suspect’s record that the police have to suggest a history of violence or of affiliation with Islamist groups.
But of course, the question on everyone’s minds will be whether there is some kind of religious connection with this.
At the moment, the terrorism office of the prosecutors’ department has not been called on to investigate – which suggests that at this point in time, they’re not thinking that this was an act that was inspired by Islamist terrorism.
New video from the suspected terror attack in Annecy, France.
It shows the Syrian asylum seeker was only targeting children.
A mom tried to escape with her child from the playground but the attacker caught up with her
3 of the stabbed kids are in critical condition pic.twitter.com/hFpYQsa3Sj
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) June 8, 2023
How the attack against the children in France unraveled
At about 9.45 am local time, a man armed with a knife entered a children’s playground near the town’s famous lake and attacked a group of children aged about three years old as they played, a security source and a local official told AFP.
The children – aged around three – were on a morning outing with their minders when a man wielding a knife suddenly appeared and began to stab them, some in their pushchairs.
He ran from the scene and then attacked an elderly man who was walking nearby. At this point police intervened, and the attacker was shot in the legs and overpowered.
Annecy, which is less than an hour from Geneva in Switzerland, is nicknamed the Pearl of the French Alps.
Act of “absolute cowardice”
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, tweeted that it was an act of “absolute cowardice” and the nation was in shock.
Attaque d’une lâcheté absolue ce matin dans un parc à Annecy. Des enfants et un adulte sont entre la vie et la mort. La Nation est sous le choc. Nos pensées les accompagnent ainsi que leurs familles et les secours mobilisés.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) June 8, 2023
The French interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, tweeted that the suspect “has been arrested thanks to the rapid reaction of security forces”.
Parliament speaker Yael Braun-Pivet is quoted by the AFP news agency as having told the National Assembly: “There are very young children in a critical state and I ask you to observe a minute of silence for them, for their families.”
Interrupting a debate about pension reform, she added: “We hope that the consequences of this extremely serious attack are not consequences that will send the country into mourning.”
Since then we’ve heard changing reports of how many people are in hospital and the conditions they’re in. It’s currently thought at least two children and one adult are in a life-threatening condition and some others are injured.