Friday 24 May 2019

Horror attack: Paris knife rampage leaves seven wounded


Police officers secure the site of a knife attack in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Police officers secure the site of a knife attack in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Henry Samuel

Seven people, including two British tourists, were wounded in Paris after they were attacked by a man armed with a knife and an iron bar, say police.

Bystanders tried to stop the attacker by throwing petanque - or boules - balls at him after he went on the rampage next to a canal in the north-east of the capital.

A source close to the inquiry said the suspect has been arrested and is believed to be an Afghan national.

"Nothing at this stage shows signs of a terrorist nature in these assaults," the source said, adding that the attacker had targeted "strangers in the street".

Of the seven wounded, four are in a critical condition, police said. French media said one British tourist has a chest injury while another was stabbed in the head.

Panic swept along the banks of the Bassin de la Villette, an area popular with locals and visitors who frequent the cafès, cinemas and other cultural venues along its banks, shortly after 11pm local time.

Witness Youssef Najah (28) said he was walking beside the canal when he saw a man running and holding a knife about 25-30cm long.

"There were around 20 people chasing him. They started throwing petanque balls at him," Mr Najah told AFP, 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."

One bystander reportedly managed to disarm the assailant.

Irish Independent

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