Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Mali: Twelve people die in suicide attack against mali rebels

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Libya violence: At least four foreigners among those killed in hotel attack

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Michelle Obama was not blurred out on Saudi TV

Read more

DEBATE

New Escalation: Cross-Border Shelling Between Israel, Lebanon (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

New Escalation: Cross-Border Shelling Between Israel, Lebanon (part 1)

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A Lebanese prison 'run by Islamists', and children tear-gassed in Kenya

Read more

FOCUS

Pegida, the movement dividing Germany

Read more

ENCORE!

Film Show: 'The Imitation Game', 'Phoenix' and the French Oscars

Read more

#TECH 24

'The Imitation Game': A Tribute to Alan Turing, the Father of Computers

Read more

France

Paris and London stabbings not linked, Hollande says

© AFP

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2013-05-27

French President François Hollande said there were no evident links "at this stage" between the stabbing of a French soldier on patrol in a business district outside Paris on Saturday and the murder of a soldier in London last week.

A French soldier has been stabbed while on patrol in Paris but President Francois Hollande said the attack could not “at this stage” be linked to the murder of a military man in London.
 
The attacker fled the scene after stabbing 23-year-old Cedric Cordier on Saturday afternoon in La Defense business district, which at weekends is packed with shoppers.
 
The local prosecutor’s office said anti-terror investigators would handle the probe into the attack, which was captured by surveillance cameras.
 
The soldier, who was armed and in uniform, was patrolling as part of France’s Vigipirate anti-terrorist surveillance scheme that sees troops deployed at high-profile tourist, business and transport sites across the capital
 
The attacker, described by police as around 1.9 meters (six foot three inches) tall, bearded and wearing a jersey and black trousers, approached his victim, stabbed him and then melted into the crowd without saying a word.
 
The soldier was with two colleagues on patrol in a busy underground space that hosts shops and provides access to several underground train lines.
 
Hollande told reporters accompanying him on a trip to Ethiopia: “We still do not know the exact circumstances of the attack or the identity of the attacker, but we are looking at all options.”
 
“I do not think that at this stage a link can be made” to the attack in London on Wednesday, he said.
 
That assault saw a soldier hacked to death on a London street by two men wielding knives and a cleaver who then launched into a tirade against British military involvement in Muslim countries.
 
Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited the wounded man in hospital and later told reporters he had been targeted because he was a soldier.
 
Le Drian, who said the soldier was in a stable condition, vowed to continue France’s “implacable” fight against terrorism.
 
Police sources said the victim would survive the attack but gave no indication of the possible motive for the assault.
 
Prosecutor Robert Gelli said the attacker struck the soldier from behind with a sharp metal object, but he did not confirm earlier reports that the weapon used was a box cutter.
 
In March last year, self-declared Islamist Mohamed Merah killed seven people in a shooting spree in and around the city of Toulouse. Three of them were French soldiers.
Hollande earlier this month said France was taking seriously a call by Al-Qaeda’s North African wing for Muslims worldwide to launch attacks against the country’s interests over its military operation in Mali, where French soldiers this year intervened to fight Islamist extremists.
 
Interior Minister Manuel Valls said Saturday that “there were elements, such as the sudden violence of the attack (on the soldier in Paris), that could lead one to think there is a form of comparison with what happened in London”.
 
But he said in a television interview that investigators must be cautious and could not yet draw such conclusions, while adding that the attacker had clearly intended to kill the soldier.
 
In London, three more men were arrested on Saturday on suspicion of conspiracy to murder the soldier, who was hacked to death in the street in broad daylight.
 
(AFP)

Date created : 2013-05-26

  • UK

    London police make new arrests in soldier's murder

    Read more

  • UK

    Experts seek clues in London 'lone wolf’ attack

    Read more

  • UK

    Man killed in suspected terror attack near London barracks

    Read more

COMMENT(S)