Published on : Tuesday, September 11, 2018
According to the local police, four of the victims were in a critical condition after the man, believed to be an Afghan national, went on the rampage next to a canal in the northeast of the capital on Sunday evening.
Two British tourists, an Egyptian tourist and a local man were among the injured, police added.
The suspect, believed to be in his thirties, had been overpowered by bystanders and was unconscious when officers arrived on the scene and took him to hospital, police said.
A source close to the inquiry added that though he had targeted foreigners, “nothing at this stage suggests a terrorist attack”.
Chaos erupted on the banks of the Bassin de la Villette, an area popular with locals and visitors who frequent the cafes, cinemas and other cultural venues along its banks, just after 11pm (2100 GMT).
Eyewitness Youssef Najah, 28, said he was walking beside the canal when he saw a man running and holding a knife about 25-30 cm (10-11 inches) long.
A security guard at one of two cinemas on either side of the water said he had seen the attacker running away from two men who were trying to stop him.
The UK foreign office said it was aware of reports of the attack and was “urgently investigating this incident” in cooperation with French authorities, British media reported.
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb in a statement praised those who intervened to stop the attack for their “responsiveness and courage”.
A police investigation has been launched for attempted murder, according to a judicial source.
It is the latest of several knife attacks France has seen in recent months, with terrorism being ruled out in most cases.