Can we say “Islamic terrorist”, children? Yes, I knew we could…
A French soldier patrolling a business neighborhood west of Paris was stabbed in the neck and injured on Saturday by a man who fled the scene and is being sought by police, President Francois Hollande said.
The 23-year-old was patrolling in uniform with two other soldiers as part of France’s Vigipirate anti-terror surveillance plan when he was approached from behind around 6 p.m. and attacked with a knife or a box-cutter.
A police union spokesman said surveillance footage of the attacker showed him as tall and bearded, aged about 35, possibly of North African origin and wearing a white Arab-style tunic.
Hollande, in the Ethiopian city of Addis Ababa, commented on the stabbing to say police were hunting for the attacker but did not provide any details about his identity or any possible motivation for the attack.
“We still don’t know the exact circumstances of the attack or the identity of the attacker, but we are exploring all options,” Hollande told journalists.
Three days after a British soldier was killed in a London street by two men who said they acted to avenge violence against Muslims, the attack near Paris raised questions about a possible copycat attempt to kill a French soldier.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls noted the similarity in an interview on France2 TV saying the attacker was clearly trying to murder his victim, but he added that it was too early to offer any theories.
Fox is reporting that the French soldier was patrolling as part of the Counterterrorism Task Force at the time he was stabbed.