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School children reunited with their families this afternoon in Souffelweyersheim. Alamy Stock Photo
Strasbourg region

Two schoolgirls wounded in knife attack in France

The attacker, who is aged in his late 20s, was arrested in the area where he attacked the second girl.

AN ASSAILANT HAS wounded two girls aged six and 11 in a knife attack close to their school in the east of France, according to local officials.

The 11-year-old was stabbed outside the school in the town of Souffelweyersheim just outside the city of Strasbourg, while the six-year-old was attacked by the same man nearby.

The suspect, who is aged in his late 20s, was arrested in the area where he attacked the second girl, the police said. He no longer had the knife in his hand and did not resist arrest.

Both received superficial wounds, police said, adding the attacker did not appear to have any known links to radicals and was not previously known to the security services.

The two girls are being treated in a paediatric hospital.

souffelweyersheim-france-18th-apr-2024-photopqrdnalaurent-rea-souffelweyersheim-18042024-deux-fillettes-de-6-et-11-ans-agressees-au-couteau-a-proximite-dune-ecole-un-suspect-int Families reuniting with their children after the attack. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Later this afternoon, parents were allowed to pick up their children, who had been confined to the school in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

The attack came as Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced a series of measures aimed at cracking down on violence committed by schoolchildren against their peers. There was no indication so far that the attacker had a link with the school.

“I’m really scared. We’ve been reassured that the children are safe inside, but we don’t know when we’ll be able to get them back,” Sarah, a mother of an eight-year-old pupil, told AFP before the green light was given to collect the children.

“A friend called me. She saw the commotion in front of the school as she passed by. Her reflex was to call me so that I could pick up my son.”

© AFP 2024

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