Two British tourists among seven wounded in Paris knife attack

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

A source close to the inquiry told AFP that 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 sources said, adding that the attacker had targeted “strangers in the street”.

Out of the seven wounded, four are in a critical condition, police infromed. The incident took place just after 11:00pm (2100 GMT) on the banks of a canal in the northeast of the capital.

A security guard at one of two cinemas on either side of the Canal de l’Ourcq told AFP that he saw a man who had already assaulted people being chased by two other men who tried to stop him.

“He had an iron bar in his hand which he threw at the men chasing him, then he took out a knife,” he told AFP.

“There were around 20 people chasing him. They started throwing Petanque balls at him,” said, another eyewitness, 28-year-old Youssef Najah 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,” he added.

According to him, the attacker then ran into an alleyway, and “tried to hide behind two British tourists. We said to them: ‘Watch out, he has a knife’. But they didn’t react.”

The pair were then attacked, he said. A police investigation has been launched for attempted murder, according to a judicial source.

(With inputs from AFP)