PARIS: A man wielding a knife and an iron bar injured seven people, including three tourists, in Paris, in an attack that bystanders tried to stop by throwing petanque balls at the assailant.
Four of the victims were in a critical condition, police said, after the man, believed to be an Afghan national, went on the rampage next to a canal in the northeast of the capital on Sunday evening.
Two British tourists, an Egyptian tourist and a local man were among the injured, police added. The suspect, believed to be in his thirties, had been overpowered by bystanders and was unconscious when officers arrived on the scene and took him to hospital, police said.
A source close to the inquiry added that though he had targeted foreigners, "nothing at this stage suggests a terrorist attack". Eyewitness Youssef Najah, 28, said he was walking beside the canal when he saw a man running and holding a knife about 25-30 cm long.
"There were around 20 people chasing him. They started throwing petanque balls at him," Najah said, referring to the sport popular in France also known as boules. "Around four or five balls hit him in the head, but they weren’t able to stop him," he added.