French police detain a Syrian asylum seeker after a knife-wielding attacker in Annecy, France, stormed a children’s playground and left three children there critically injured.
The youngest victim is 22 months old as of 13:30 BST.
More information is becoming available from French local media outlets citing police and investigative sources. The minor victims include a 22-month-old German citizen who was rushed to a hospital in Geneva for urgent medical attention, as well as a two-year-old boy, a three-year-old girl, and a three-year-old girl with UK citizenship, according to media sites such as France’s CNews. Additionally, a 70-year-old man had been stabbed in the neck.
Abdalmasih H., the suspected culprit, resides in Sweden as a person seeking asylum and is married to a Swedish citizen. However, in 2022, he also sought for refugee status in France for an unspecified reason. This application, it is said, was merely turned down last week since he had previously been granted refugee status in Sweden. According to Liberation, the Syrian immigrant claimed to be a Christian on his application for refugee status.
Le Dauphine said that the assailant was recognized by an Annecy park staff because he had been seen in the neighborhood for the previous two months. “The guy comes and sits on a bench every single day for the past two months, wearing black, with a black backpack, dark-colored glasses, and a beard,” the local told the newspaper. He always remained silent.
Another said that he spent every single day “from morning to night” loitering around the park.
In an apparent knife assault in Annecy, a charming alpine town well-liked by visitors for its closeness to Alpine ski resorts, at least six individuals, including four very young children, were hurt.
Four children and one adult were hurt, according to early accounts, but subsequently, the number increased. Le Figaro reports that two children and one adult are in serious condition, while a police source claims that all of the youngsters involved are in a position of “absolute emergency.”
Bystanders captured the arrest of a suspected culprit on camera, and it was shown on national television. Images from the scene show a bearded guy with a knife, dressed in a black t-shirt and what is called a “turban.”
Attaque au couteau à Annecy: l'interpellation de l'agresseur filmée par un témoin pic.twitter.com/Q0EHJypyRr
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) June 8, 2023
According to reports, the suspect is a 32-year-old Syrian guy called Abdalmasih who has applied for asylum in France and has been granted refugee status in Sweden. Police reportedly don’t know him.