A migrant from Syria was arrested by police for a mass stabbing attack targeting children in a park Thursday morning in Annecy, France, a town located in the French Alps. Various reports have stated the injured number as high as eight, however the latest report states four children and two adults were wounded in the attack with two of the children and one of the adults hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. (Update at end: A French report states attacker cried out “in the name of Jesus Christ!”)
Video showing a minute-and-a-half of the attack has gone viral. The video shows a tall, athletic, swarthy, bearded man wearing a blue head scarf and dark shades, holding a knife in his right hand while moving about the outside play area of the park as a mother can be heard screaming. A brave man holding a backpack tries repeatedly to distract the attacker.
— No Chance (@MrNChance) June 8, 2023
The attacker can then be seen entering the play area and attacking the mother and her baby in a stroller several times with the knife. The attacker makes several attempts on the child in the stroller and the protective mother. The attacker is then seen leaving the play area being pursued by the man with the backpack.
Twitter keeps taking down the video of the attack.
A Syrian refugee in the French Alps town of Annecy carried out a knife attack, injuring four children and one adult. The motive behind the attack is currently unknown, and authorities are investigating the incident. pic.twitter.com/VHYNh4Vvb0
— Emil Vicale (@emilvicale) June 8, 2023
Fransa’nın Annecy bölgesindeki bir parkta gerçekleştirilen bıçaklı saldırıda 6'sı çocuk 7 kişi yaralandı. Başbakan Elisabeth Borne olay yerine doğru yola çıktı.
2 tane çocuğun durumu ağır. pic.twitter.com/sC3T8vzZr0
— Antalya Haber TV (@Antalya_HaberTV) June 8, 2023
For those asking why we took down the videos of the suspected terrorist attacking children in Annecy, France today…
We didn’t. Twitter did.
They are taking down all videos showing the terrorist, even the ones in which he isn’t stabbing anyone.
Here’s a picture instead. pic.twitter.com/tqbEyb7uGQ
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) June 8, 2023
Video of the pursuit and arrest is not being censored on Twitter:
— SAgentDaleCooper (@DaleCooperBack) June 8, 2023
French President Emmanuel Macron posted a statement online, “Attack of absolute cowardice this morning in a park in Annecy. Children and an adult are between life and death. The Nation is in shock. Our thoughts are with them as well as their families and the emergency services mobilized.”
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
Excerpt from Reuters report on the attack:
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said the suspected attacker, who was in police custody, was a 31-year old Syrian national who was granted asylum in Sweden 10 years ago. He had entered France legally, she said, and was carrying Swedish identity documents and a Swedish driving license.
The local prosecutor leading the investigation said there was no indication that terrorism was the assailant’s motivation. He was under investigation for attempted murder.
…The four children were just toddlers, aged between 22 months and three years, Annecy prosecutor Line Bonnet-Mathis told reporters.
One of them was a British national, another was Dutch, Bonnet-Mathis said.
…The incident took place at around 0745 GMT in Le Paquier park in Annecy, a town in the French Alps.
UPDATE: French outlet Le Dauphine reports the attacker was yelling “in the name of Jesus Christ” (language not stated):
Via translation: “The author cried out “In the name of Jesus Christ” The assailant said “In the name of Jesus Christ” twice at the time of the attack. The man, who was wearing a Christian cross when he was arrested, presented himself as a “Christian from Syria” when applying for asylum at the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (Ofpra) on November 28 2022.”