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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Liv Clarke

Children ‘fighting for life’ after stabbing at French playground

Several young children and at least one adult were stabbed by an attacker with a knife in France, the country’s interior minister has said. The attack, which happened on Thursday (June 8) morning in a square in the lakeside Alpine town of Annecy, has left some fighting for their lives.

In a short Gerald Darmanin said that police have detained the alleged attacker. He wrote: “Several people including children have been injured by an individual armed with a knife in a square in Annecy.” French President Emmanuel Macron said “children and an adult are between life and death”.

He described the attack as one of “absolute cowardice”. Some of the children looked very young, witnesses said.


A man told broadcaster BFMTV he saw first aiders working on “little bodies, three or four years old, perhaps”. Local politician Antoine Armand said the children were attacked on a playground near a primary school.

Speaking to BFMTV from the National Assembly building in Paris, he said the victims include “very young” children who were “savagely attacked”. An Interior Ministry official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak about the developing situation, said four children and two adults have been hurt.

He said that number could change because the full details are not yet clear. Police also said four children are among the injured, with two suffering life-threatening injuries and two escaping with minor injuries. One adult also suffered life-threatening injuries, the force said while also warning of an evolving situation.

In Paris, politicians interrupted a debate to hold a moment of silence for the victims. The assembly president, Yael Braun-Pivet, said: “There are some very young children who are in critical condition and I invite you to respect a minute of silence for them, for their families, and so that, we hope, the consequences of this very grave attack do not lead to the nation grieving.”

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s “thoughts and sympathies” are with those impacted by the attack. A spokesman for Mr Sunak, who is on a visit to the US, told reporters in Westminster: “Obviously, it is a matter that I believe the French authorities are working on, it is a live matter that they are working through now.

“The Prime Minister’s thoughts and sympathies will be with all those who have been affected.”

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