Shropshire Star

British child injured in knife attack at French playground

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said that British consular officials had been deployed to the area.

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Foreign Secretary James Cleverly

A British child has been injured after several very young children were stabbed in a lakeside park in the French Alps, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has said.

The Foreign Secretary was speaking at an OECD ministerial council press conference in France, hours after the attack that saw several children – including one in a pushchair – stabbed in a lakeside park in the French Alps.

Adults were also attacked in the town of Annecy on Thursday.

The suspect is a 31-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker, police said.

Mr Cleverly said: “Our thoughts are with the victims and the families, and we stand ready to support the French authorities in whichever way we can.”

He said he was “also aware that one of the people, one of the children injured, was a British national”.

“We have already deployed British consular officials who are travelling to the area to make themselves available to support the family.

“And of course we stand in strong solidarity with the people of France at this terrible time.”

Video on social media appeared to show the attack in a children’s play park.

Footage showed a man in dark glasses and with a blue scarf covering his head brandishing a blade as people screamed for help.

He first circled the playground, slashing at a bystander, and then climbed over its barriers to attack people inside.

He appeared to stab a child in a pushchair repeatedly.

French President Emmanuel Macron described the attack as one of “absolute cowardice”.

Of the victims, he said “children and an adult are between life and death”.

“The nation is in shock,” he tweeted.

Local police said the four child victims are all under the age of five.

National police said two of the children, both about three, suffered life-threatening injuries, as did one adult.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier tweeted: “My thoughts are with all of those affected by the shocking attack in Annecy this morning.

Calling it a “truly cowardly act”, he said: “The UK and France have always stood together against acts of violence, and we do so again today.”

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