seven people have been reported to be wounded in a knife attack by a man in central Paris, France, on late Sunday, as the man has been arrested, police and sources said on Monday, adding that there was no initial indication the incident was linked to terrorism.
The attack was stationed along Bassin de la villette, a popular outdoor canal area in the northeast of Paris where many gather on warm evenings.
As reported by the police, the attacker was from Afghanistan, the victims were of two British tourist and five passersby who were severely wounded, although not life-threatening condition.
Witnesses cited by French media said a group of men playing boules threw heavy metal balls that are used in the popular game at the attacker, with one hitting him on the head and stalling him.
Police investigators work on the scene after seven people were wounded in knife attack downtown Paris, France, September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
Thierry, a witness quoted on BFM TV, said a group of people then assailed the attacker.
“Someone with a wooden stick smashed him across the knees and he fell to the ground,” he said. “Loads of people arrived, some were saying ‘kill him’ but one guy who was pinning him down said ‘no, the last thing we must do is kill him.’”
Police and ambulance crews arrived on the scene shortly afterwards, witnesses said, and the man was taken into custody.
While the motives for the attack remain unclear, a judicial source said it did not appear to be akin to other attacks carried out by Muslim militants in Paris in recent years.
“Police didn’t find any initial indication the attack was linked to terrorism,” the source said. “But the anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office is following how the investigation proceeds closely.”