LONDON: A Syrian national wounded seven people, including six children, in a knife attack in a French park on Thursday, police said, leaving some of the victims critically ill in hospital.
The attack, which happened in the French alpine town of Annecy, was carried out by a Syrian national with legal refugee status in France, a police official told Reuters.
“Children and one adult are between life and death. The nation is in shock,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement on Twitter, calling the attack “an act of absolute cowardice.”
French Interior minister Gerald Darmanin said on Twitter that attacker had been arrested.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned the attack in the French Alps that wounded the children including one from the UK.
“All our thoughts are with those affected by this unfathomable attack, including a British child,” Sunak said at the start of a White House news conference with US President Joe Biden.
Earlier, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: “One of the children injured was a British national. We have already deployed British consular officials to ... support the family.”
“Our thoughts are with the victims and the families and we stand ready to support the French authorities in whichever way we can,” he added.
A local lawmaker, Antoine Armand, said the children were attacked on a playground. Speaking to BFMTV from the National Assembly building in Paris, he said the victims included “very young” children and that they were “savagely attacked.” The attack took place close to a primary school, he said.
National police and an Interior Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak about the developing situation both said that four children were among the wounded.
Police said two of the children suffered life-threatening injuries and that two others were lightly injured.
Police said one adult also suffered life-threatening wounds.
Both police and the Interior Ministry official cautioned that cautioned that the number of wounded could evolve because the full details weren’t yet clear.
“Nothing more abominable than to attack children,” French national assembly speaker Yael Braun-Pivet said on Twitter. The French parliament observed a minute of silence to mark the incident.