A French soldier on patrol in Paris was stabbed in the throat on Saturday by a man believed to be of North-African origin.
23-year-old French soldier Cédric Cordier, who was stabbed in the neck while on anti-terrorist patrol at La Défense in Paris on Saturday May 25th. (The Local)
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Fears increased on Monday that the stabbing of a French soldier in Paris was an attempted copycat attack, inspired by the murder of a British soldier in London. The latest reports claim the suspect was seen ‘praying’ before the knife attack.
Reports in the French media on Monday raised the likelihood that the stabbing of a uniformed French soldier in Paris on Saturday could have been inspired by last week’s hacking to death of a British soldier in London.
Sources for French daily Le Parisien have claimed that the suspect, who has still not been found since fleeing the scene of the attack at at the shopping and transport hub La Défense, was seen ‘praying’ in the train station, before stabbing the soldier in the neck.
The suspected knife wielder was captured on CCTV cameras before, during and after the attack.
So far, he is described as being a bearded, athletically-built man, 1.90 metres tall, who wore a black pullover, and not a djellaba (a traditional north-African robe) as was first reported in the press.
The 23-year-old soldier Cédric Cordier was stabbed in the neck from behind, by a man wielding what initial reports identified as a box-cutter, but was later confirmed to be a knife.
Cordier’s partner, Amélie, told RTL radio on Sunday that the stab wound had come terrifyingly close to being lethal.
“It was just two centimetres away from his carotid artery,” she said.
French authorities are reportedly close to identifying the suspect who stabbed the French soldier.