Two of the children remain in a critical condition following a knife attack in the French Alps town of Annecy on Tuesday, in which two adults and four children were injured.
“According to my information, two children are still in critical condition,” said a government spokesman in a conversation with the French media Olivier Faithful and he added that both had already operated. He emphasized that everything must be done to prevent something like this from happening again.
Thursday’s attack involved a man on a playground at a lakeside park in the city Annecy stabbed two adults and four preschool children aged 22 to 36 months with a knife in eastern France. After that, the police intervened and shot the attacker in the legs, incapacitated him and arrested him.
Annecy the French president will also visit today Emmanuel Macron who on Thursday expressed his dismay at the attack, calling it “an expression of absolute cowardice”. He first stopped at the hospital in Grenoble, where three of the four wounded children are being cared for, and then, together with his wife Brigitte, he will visit the victims and their families in Annecy and all those who provided them with help and support, his office said.
The motive for the attack remains unknown for now, but the prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday that the attacker did not have an “obvious terrorist motive.” He is a 31-year-old Syrian refugee who, according to the authorities, was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the attack.
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne she said he was “not known to any intelligence agency” and had “no history of psychiatric problems”. The Syrian was previously unknown to the police and, according to their information, has no connections with Islamist groups. Since the fall of 2022, he has been living as a homeless person in Annecy.
The suspect, who recently divorced a Swedish citizen, had previously lived in Sweden for ten years, where he was granted refugee status in April, security services and his ex-wife confirmed to AFP. He also applied for asylum in Switzerland, Italy and France. The latter rejected his request last Sunday, as he already had refugee status in Sweden.
The attacker’s mother, who has lived in the US for ten years, told AFP that he suffered from “severe depression”. According to her, the recent rejection by the Swedish authorities, who did not grant him citizenship, “probably drove him crazy”.
The attack also triggered an avalanche of reactions in the political world, with some far-right politicians emphasizing the origin and refugee status of the attacker, reports AFP. In Annecy, meanwhile, a small makeshift altar with candles and white roses was set up on Thursday evening in the corner of the playground in the park where the attack took place.