France knife attack victims in 'stable condition'

Police identified the suspect as a 31-year-old Syrian who was granted refugee status in Sweden

By Web Desk
June 09, 2023
A woman places flowers near the site where children were stabbed on Thursday morning in a playground in the southeastern Alpine town of Annecy, France, taken on 9 June 2023. — AFP

Four young children, ages 1 to 3, who were stabbed in a park in Annecy, in the southeast of France, are receiving treatment in a hospital and are now in stable condition.

According to the BBC, once the attacker entered the playground for kids to carry out the attack, the cops overpowered him and took him into custody.


Among the injured are two children, one Dutch and one a three-year-old British toddler. Also harmed were two adults, one of whom is in critical condition.

The suspect, a 31-year-old Syrian who was granted refugee status in Sweden, has been identified by the police.

Regional constable Antoine Armand termed the attack "abominable" and stated that although there was an investigation, "very little was known."

He said that the video of the incident, which was too graphic to air, shows a small playground and people going about their regular lives with parents, children, and other adults running around.

Then a man enters brandishing a knife, and cries rapidly break out. He strikes a child in a pushchair while obviously on the lookout for kids to attack, he said.

The attack site was visited by Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin and French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne.

While addressing a press conference, Borne said that the attacker has "no criminal or psychological record."

Annecy prosecutor Line Bonnet-Mathis told reporters that there "doesn't seem to be any kind of terrorist motivation"

According to the police, the suspect, who recently arrived in France and has refugee status in Sweden, left behind a wife and a three-year-old daughter. He claimed to be a Syrian Christian in an unsuccessful asylum application last year, seeking refugee status in France.

His previous wife revealed to BFM TV that her ex-partner was a Christian.

"He does not call me for four months. Our relationship stopped because we lived in Sweden and he did not want to live in Sweden anymore," she said, adding that he had not previously shown a violent streak.

Recently, knife assaults have become common in France, frequently committed by lone young men with modest criminal histories and possible ties to Islamist groups. This attack obviously has a different nature, BBC reported

The majority of lawmakers are being cautious thus far to avoid drawing conclusions, but it is clear that the incident will contribute to the immigration debate.

Meanwhile, the site of the attack has been visited by mourners and other people to pay respect to those affected by the incident.