SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 14 April 2024, Sunday |

Annecy knife attack suspect detained, prosecutor says

The local prosecutor announced on Saturday that the suspect in a knife assault that left four kids and two elderly people injured in the southern French town of Annecy on Thursday had been taken into custody.

The suspect, a Syrian immigrant who was born in 1991, is formally being investigated for attempted murder and using a weapon to obstruct police, according to the prosecutor.

The injured are no longer in critical condition, Annecy Prosecutor Line Bonnet-Mathis told a news conference, adding that the four children were still in hospital.

The stabbing was the first violent attack targeting children since 2012, when gunman Mohamed Merah shot three Jewish children and one of their parents, and then three soldiers, in Toulouse in 2012.

The suspect has chosen not to speak while in police custody and when presented before judges, the prosecutor said.

He was examined by a psychiatrist who considered that he was fit to be held in custody.

Drug and alcohol tests were negative.

“Presently it is premature to assess his motivations,” Bonnet-Mathis said, reiterating that there was no indication yet that terrorism was the assailant’s motivation.

The suspect was granted asylum in Sweden 10 years ago, having arrived from Turkey. The prosecutor said the man was believed to be married with a young child.

He entered France in October 2022, having travelled through Italy and Switzerland, she said, adding that he had no police record in France and was thought to be homeless.

His request for asylum in France was refused on the grounds that Sweden had already approved one.

Witnesses told investigators that they heard the suspect call out for “his wife, his daughter” and shouted “Jesus Christ”, the prosecutor added.

On his arrest, police found a folding knife, two Christian faith images, a cross as well as cash and a Swedish drivers’ licence.

    Source:
  • Reuters