Two women held over Paris knife attack: prosecutor

File Photo showing the front of the french 'Palais de Justice' France's court of justice. (Reuters)
Updated 17 May 2018
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Two women held over Paris knife attack: prosecutor

PARIS: Two women were detained for questioning Thursday in connection with a deadly knife attack in Paris last weekend, France’s top anti-terror prosecutor Francois Molins said.
Molins also said that Abdoul Hakim A., a friend of the knifeman Khamzat Azimov, would be brought before a judge Thursday and potentially charged over his role in the attack.
He said he did not want to give more details of the two women for now, but a source close to the inquiry said one was Ines Hamza, a radicalized 19-year-old who married Abdoul Hakim A. before trying to leave for Syria in January 2017.
Azimov killed a 29-year-old man in the busy Opera district of the French capital on Saturday night before being shot and killed by police.
Molins said five other people had been wounded, and not four as previously reported.
He also said the deceased victim had been stabbed six times, with at least one “indicating an attempt to cut his throat.”
Witnesses said Azimov yelled “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) during the rampage, for which the Daesh group has claimed responsibility, later releasing a video purporting to show Azimov pledging allegiance to the extremist group.
Azimov, a 20-year-old naturalized Frenchman of Chechen origin, had been on France’s two main watch lists for suspected radicals since 2016.
His friend Abdoul Hakim, also 20 with Chechen origins and also on watch lists, was detained Sunday in the eastern city of Strasbourg, where the two men grew up, and later transferred to the headquarters of France’s domestic intelligence services in Paris.
“He has denied any implication in either preparing or carrying out the acts as well as any recent links with Khamzat Azimov, claiming not to have seen or been in contact with him for several months,” Molins said.
But he added that examinations of telephone networks showed that shortly before the attack, Abdoul Hakim has sent his sister a text message of “a militants' chant regularly used by Daesh.”
Investigators want to determine if Abdoul Hakim “may have influenced Azimov in his extremist quest or knew he was planning this attack,” the source said.
During a search of his home in Strasbourg police found seven cellphones but were unable to locate the phone he used most often, sources close to the case said.
“This telephone, he probably threw it away. He told investigators that he had gone to the gym and lost it there,” Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told RTL radio on Wednesday.
He also revealed that Azimov had carried out his attack “with one of his mother’s kitchen knives.”
Azimov’s parents were released from custody on Tuesday after investigators found no incriminating elements during questioning.
The attack brings to 246 the number of victims from a string of attacks in france by Daesh extremists since 2015.
 

 


Swine flu kills 40 in western India

Updated 55 min 13 sec ago
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Swine flu kills 40 in western India

  • Last year around 1,100 people died and 15,000 were infected across India by the highly contagious A H1N1 virus that spreads from human-to-human
  • Cases spike in the winter months of December and January in the west and north of the country including in Rajasthan and in New Delhi

JAIPUR, India: At least 40 people have died and more than 1,000 have tested positive for swine flu since the beginning of this year in a western Indian state popular with foreigners, authorities said Friday.
Last year around 1,100 people died and 15,000 were infected across India by the highly contagious A H1N1 virus that spreads from human-to-human.
Cases spike in the winter months of December and January in the west and north of the country including in Rajasthan and in New Delhi.
Authorities in Rajasthan, famous for its deserts and palaces, have told doctors they must seek permission before going on leave and plan a door-to-door campaign to detect infected patients.
Health officials have also launched an awareness campaign to sensitise people about symptoms, precautions and treatment, and have screened more than 5,100 people.
“Total deaths are 40 and positive cases are 1,036 as from January 1 to 17 in Rajasthan. One of the deaths occurred on Thursday,” according to a statement by the Rajasthan health department.
One high-profile victim in Delhi this week was Amit Shah, a top aide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was admitted to hospital with the virus.
Rajasthan’s Jodhpur district recorded the highest death toll with 16 fatalities and 225 people testing positive.
No travel advisory has been issued however.