regular-article-logo Friday, 29 September 2023

Two toddlers stable after Annecy knife attack, France lauds ‘backpack hero’

Four children — all aged between 22 and 36 months — and two pensioners were wounded

Reuters Annecy Published 10.06.23, 06:28 AM

File Photo

Two toddlers stabbed by a knifeman in the French mountain town of Annecy were fighting for their lives but stable on Friday, the government said, as well-wishers laid flowers at the playground where the attack occurred.

A shocked nation paid tribute to a modern-day pilgrim on a walking tour of France’s cathedrals who tried to block the assailant during his attack and then gave chase.


Four children — all aged between 22 and 36 months — and two pensioners were wounded. Two of the toddlers were in critical condition but stable, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said.

President Emmanuel Macron, who called the attack an “act of absolute cowardice”, visited the hospital in Grenoble where three of the four are being cared for and met their families, the Elysee Palace said.

A video of the attack, taken by a bystander and verified by Reuters, showed the assailant jump a low wall into a playground and repeatedly lunge at a child in a stroller. France hailed the bravery of a young Catholic pilgrim who came face-to-face with the assailant and used his backpack as a shield as he sought to block the attack. French media dubbed him “the backpack hero”.

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