On Thursday morning, a man attacked several small children and at least one adult with a knife in Annecy, France. According to French media, the perpetrator is a Syrian who was granted refugee status in Sweden as recently as April.
At 09:45, the man carried out the attack at a playground in a park in the city, and according to Reuters, four young children and one adult were injured. Three of the children are said to have suffered life-threatening injuries and are aged three.
According to witnesses, at least one of the children was in a stroller when it was stabbed, and many are shocked by what has happened.
– We saw a person attacking playing children. They were obviously small, a witness says.
Meet the 31-years- old Syrian Christian 🇸🇾 national with legal refugee status in Sweden 🇸🇪 wounded four children & two adult in a knife attack in French Alps 🇫🇷. The attacker invoked Jesus name during the attack. The attacker has been arrested by the French police. pic.twitter.com/za2XDp1aEd
— Parthiban Shanmugam (@hollywoodcurry) June 8, 2023
“An attack of absolute cowardice in a park in Annecy this morning. Children and an adult are between life and death. The nation is in shock. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families as well as the emergency services”, commented Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.
The offender was reportedly arrested after a quick police operation, but it is unclear why he carried out the knife attack. In recent months, he has been seen in the park almost daily.
There are also reports that the offender was denied asylum in France last year – and then was granted it in Sweden. However, it is unclear why the man returned to France.
“Horror, again. This attack on children is the height of evil”, said Laurent Wauquiez, president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.