Thursday, June 08, 2023
At least five people including four children — as old as three years old — were among the people who were stabbed in a knife attack Thursday in southeastern France, authorities said, while adding that a minor and the adult were in critical condition.
The police said that the male suspect Syrian in his early 30s was taken into custody, while the motive of the stabbing remains unclear.
The interior ministry noted that French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne will travel to Annecy with Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin Thursday.
Annecy is a scenic town in the French Alps close to the border with Switzerland popular with tourists and home to one of the world's top animation festivals, which starts Sunday.
After the knife attack, President Emmanuel Macron said: "The nation is in shock," following the attack.
"Children and an adult are between life and death. The nation is in shock. Our thoughts are with them, their families, and the emergency services," Macron said in a tweet.
Health Minister François Braun also expressed in a tweet that his thoughts were with the victims of the knife attack.
"All my thoughts go immediately to the people injured by an individual armed with a knife in Annecy, and to their loved ones," Braun wrote.
"I salute the rapid mobilisation of the emergency services to take care of the victims, and notably the Urgent Medical Aid Service (SAMU)."
French National Assembly legislators observed a minute’s silence for the victims of the stabbing.
A group of school children were on a supervised trip to Lake Annecy in the country's south when the attack happened at 9:45am local time, the French National Police told NBC News.
Police said: "The attack took place in Le Pâquier d'Annecy, a park on the north side of the lake, which has a children's play area and spectacular views across the lake and surrounding mountains."
François Astorg, the mayor of Annecy, called the attack "appalling".
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said in a tweet that the suspect "was arrested thanks to the very rapid intervention of the police."