A man armed with a knife sowed terror Thursday morning June 8 in a park on the shores of Lake Annecy, seriously injuring several children, before being arrested. Le Monde takes stock of what we know.
According to the prefecture of Haute-Savoie, the facts took place around 9:45 a.m. in the gardens of Europe, which are part of the Pâquier, a park located on the shores of Lake Annecy, a few tens of meters from the city Hall. There are several playgrounds and a school.
According to witnesses, the assailant attacked strollers in a playground. repeatedly stabbed the little ones," said a witness interviewed by BFMTV.
According to various testimonies, the man then tried to flee from the playground and attacked an elderly person before being arrested very quickly by the police. The emergency services were alerted at 9:41 a.m., the intervention triggered immediately and the attacker arrested four minutes later, according to a timing released by the police. The surroundings of the park were cordoned off by a large police force.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin are expected on site.
At least six people, including four young children, were injured, according to a report communicated by the prefecture of Haute-Savoie. Three of the victims - two children and an adult - are in a state of absolute emergency, according to a source familiar with the matter. All the victims were evacuated to hospitals.
The prefecture has opened an information unit, which can be reached on 04 50 33 61 33.
According to a source close to the case, the suspect is a man of Syrian nationality, born in 1991, who has lived in Sweden for ten years. He had obtained refugee status there by a decision of April 26, 2023. At the end of November 2022, he had applied for asylum with Ofpra, the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons.
Having obtained his refugee status in Sweden, his asylum application no longer had any purpose, the same source added. He was therefore in a regular situation on French territory.
The terrorist character or not of the attack is being evaluated, a source familiar with the matter added.
Emmanuel Macron denounced an "attack of absolute cowardice". “Children and an adult are between life and death. The Nation is in shock. Our thoughts are with them as well as their families and the rescuers mobilized, ”wrote the head of state on Twitter.
This tragedy caused great emotion in the National Assembly, where a minute of silence was observed at the request of President Yaël Braun-Pivet, "for them, for their families", after this "very serious attack". Speaking on behalf of the government, the Minister of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal denounced from the Palais-Bourbon "barbarism".
Laurent Wauquiez, the president (Les Républicains) of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, where the facts took place, denounced for his part "the horror, again". "This attack on children is the pinnacle of abomination," he added, thanking the "police officers for their courage in apprehending the assailant." " How is it possible ? Attacking little ones! Hit them with a knife! Our heart is in pieces having to live it, ”reacted the former “rebellious” presidential candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon. " The horror. Emotion and anger, ”wrote the boss of the socialist deputies, Boris Vallaud, still on Twitter. "Fright and horror", reacted from his side Marine Le Pen.