Factbox-France stabbing: what we know so far about the Annecy attack on toddlers

  • World
  • Thursday, 08 Jun 2023

French police secure the area after several children and an adult have been injured in a knife attack in Annecy, in the French Alps, France, June 8, 2023. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

PARIS (Reuters) - Here is what we know so far about a knife attack against toddlers in the southeastern French town of Annecy on Thursday, in which some of them were seriously wounded.

Where did the attack happen?

In a park in Annecy, a tranquil town at the foot of the French Alps that is popular for winter sports as well as for summer pursuits like hiking and parasailing. Annecy is known as the Pearl of the French Alps.

The lakeside Le Paquier park, whose name comes from the word for "pasture" in a local dialect, lies between the town centre and the northwestern corner of Lake Annecy.

Who are the victims?

The victims are four children aged between 22 months and 3 years and two pensioners aged 70 and 78.

Two of the toddlers and one adult are in a life-threatening condition in hospital, police said.

Britain's foreign minister said one of the children wounded in the attack was British, and the lead prosecutor in the case said another was Dutch.

Who is the suspect?

The suspected attacker is a Syrian national who was carrying Syrian and Swedish identity papers, including a Swedish drivers' license, according to French authorities.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said the 31-year-old was granted refugee status in Sweden 10 years ago and was in France legally. A subsequent asylum request in France had been refused on the grounds Sweden had already approved one, she said.

An eyewitness video, verified by Reuters, shows a bearded man with sunglasses and a blue checkered headscarf running through the park, clutching a knife.

Another shows him jumping a wall into a playground and lunging at a child in a pushchair as a woman tries to block his path.

The suspect was shot at by police and overpowered by officers. He is under investigation for attempted murder, the local prosecutor said.

(Compiled by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Richard Lough and Frances Kerry)

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