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French police officers stand at the scene of an attack in Annecy, southeastern France, on June 8, 2023.
Six people were injured in a stabbing attack in Annecy, southeastern France, on Thursday, including children, sparking a wave of panic in the small Alpine town.
According to Haute-Savoie province, four children suffered injuries following the incident. All the injured were taken to hospital.
“Emergency services and security forces intervened very quickly,” a statement from the province said.
Local authorities earlier said at least eight people were injured.
A man has been arrested on suspicion of assault. He was slightly injured but did not require hospital treatment, local officials said.
French Prime Minister Élisabeth Bourne will travel to Annecy on Thursday with Interior Minister Gérald Tarmanin, the interior ministry said.
An eyewitness, Ferdinand, told CNN affiliate BFMTV that the assailant “attacked passers-by repeatedly” with a knife.
“He jumped (on the playground), started screaming, then went towards the strollers and repeatedly attacked the little ones with the knife,” Ferdinand said.
According to Reuters, another eyewitness, George, said: “Mothers were crying and everyone was running.
After several children and an adult were injured in Annecy, French police secured the area.
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Members of the French parliament held a minute’s silence after the stabbing in Annecy.
French President Emmanuel Macron said “the nation is in shock” following the attack.
“Absolute cowardice this morning in the park at Annecy. Children and adults are between life and death. The nation is in shock. Our thoughts are with them, their families and the emergency services,” Macron tweeted.
Health Minister Francois Brown tweeted that her thoughts were with the knife victims. “All my thoughts immediately go out to those injured and their loved ones in Annecy by a man armed with a knife,” Brown tweeted.
“I commend the quick mobilization of emergency services, especially the Emergency Medical Assistance Service (SAMU) to take care of the victims.”
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The mayor of Annecy, François Astorg, asked residents to avoid the area where the knife attack took place to facilitate the authorities’ work.
“Horrible attack this morning on Bakhiare in Annecy. All my thoughts to the victims and families,” he tweeted. Astark said he will address the public Thursday afternoon, along with representatives from the police and local prosecutor’s office.
A minute’s silence was observed in the French National Assembly for those injured in the attack.