Two people have been injured in a knife attack in Paris near the former office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police sources said.
One suspect has been arrested in central Paris. Earlier, police said that four people had been injured. French media report that a second suspect has been arrested.
The national antiterrorist prosecutor will lead the investigation, according to AFP. An investigation has been opened for “assassination tentative,” the Paris prosecutor’s office said.
French media reported that the two people injured work for production company Premières Lignes, whose offices are located in the same building as the former Charlie Hebdo offices.
A cordon has been put up near the building, located in the 11th arrondissement near Richard Lenoir, due to a suspect package.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex tweeted that he would head directly to the interior ministry to take count of the situation.
Anti-terrorism police have taken over the investigation. A security cordon has been set up in the 11th arrondissement in eastern Paris.
The public were told to avoid the area. A blade – described as a machete or a meat cleaver – was recovered at the scene of the attack near the Boulevard Richard Lenoir.
The arrested suspect was detained with blood on his clothing, French media reports say.Initial reports said that four people had been wounded.
The attack comes as a high-profile trial is underway in Paris of 14 people accused of helping two jihadists carry out the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were killed.
The two people wounded were staff at a TV production company, one of their colleagues told AFP news agency.”Two colleagues were smoking a cigarette outside the building, in the street. I heard shouting. I went to the window and saw one of my colleagues, covered in blood, being chased by a man with a machete in the street,” another member of staff at the Premières Lignes production firm said.
The firm has offices in the Rue Nicolas Appert, a side street off Boulevard Richard Lenoir where the former Charlie Hebdo offices are located.
The satirical magazine has since moved to a secret location.
It’s been over five years since the attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish supermarket Hypercacher in Paris. The long-awaited trial might bring relatives and friends some sense of normality.
17 people died during the attacks in January 2015. First, Cherif and Said Kouachi fired their Kalashnikov rifles at Charlie Hebdo’s newsroom, then spent several days on the run. Their accomplice took 19 hostages at the Jewish supermarket Hypercacher. The police eventually killed all three assailants. Now, 14 people who allegedly provided logistical support such as cars and weapons to the attackers are in the dock.
The accused could face between 10 years and life in prison. The hearings, which contrary to the norm in France will be recorded, are expected to run until November the tenth.
The magazine was targeted because it had used satirical images of the Prophet Muhammad. This attack on the freedom of the press triggered a worldwide backlash. Millions of people took to the streets of Paris a few days later in a show of unity and the slogan “Je suis Charlie” #JeSuisCharlie (I am Charlie) went global.
Its was an attack on liberty and Freedom of speech
A worldwide wave of support for the magazine, condemning the attacks and to uphold freedom of the press.
On 11 January, around 2 million people, including more than 40 world leaders met in Paris for a Je Suis Charlie march. Read more…