Appalling Knife Attack in French Playground Targets Children: Syrian Refugee Arrested

A disturbing video captures a Syrian refugee repeatedly stabbing a toddler in a stroller while his mother desperately tries to shield him from the horrifying assault. The incident took place in a French playground in Annecy, a town in southeastern France, around 9:45 am. The attacker, identified as Abdalmash H, 32 years old, carried out this “abominable” rampage.

The footage shows the assailant rushing into the small playground and mercilessly stabbing the toddler while his mother screams in anguish, attempting to protect her child. Later, the Syrian refugee, who had arrived in France the previous year, was apprehended by armed police officers after being chased away from the playground by locals.

Witnesses, horrified by the attack, recall hearing mothers frantically shouting, “Run, run,” as the assailant targeted the defenseless children. President Emmanuel Macron has denounced the act as an act of “absolute cowardice.”

As a result of this frenzied attack, four children, approximately three years old, including a three-year-old British girl, along with an adult, suffered severe injuries. Two of the young victims and the adult are currently in critical condition in a nearby hospital.

Those present during the incident recount how the attacker indiscriminately assaulted the preschool children, considering them “easy targets.” Witnesses report hearing the man shouting before initiating the assault. One of the injured children was in a stroller.

The horrific video depicts Abdalmash H, armed with a knife, charging towards a terrified mother whose child is in a stroller. A local individual strikes the attacker with his rucksack, forcing him to flee momentarily. However, the assailant quickly returns to the playground, targeting the mother and her toddler. Despite the woman’s desperate attempts to shield her child, Abdalmash manages to stab the young boy twice.

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The toddler’s cries of pain resonate as the distressed mother and terrified parents plead for assistance.

Subsequent footage, captured moments after the stabbing, shows the attacker being pursued by locals across the park, with parents in the background desperately calling for help for their injured children. Armed police arrived promptly at the scene and managed to subdue the attacker before arresting him.

According to witness Ferdinand, who spoke to BFM TV, “He jumped into the playground, started shouting, and then headed towards the strollers, repeatedly striking the little ones with a knife.” George, the owner of a nearby restaurant, recalls, “Mothers were crying, everybody was running.”

Anthony Le Tallec, a former Liverpool footballer, describes how a group of people ran towards him, and a mother urgently warned him, “Run, run! There is someone who is stabbing everyone along the lake. They are stabbing children, run, run!”

An anonymous witness, recounting the incident to Le Dauphine, shares, “We saw a person attacking children playing games, particularly targeting the little ones. Initially, we thought it was staged, but the cries of the people made us realize it was reality.”

A witness, interviewed by BFMTV, mentions seeing first aiders attending to “little bodies, three or four years old, perhaps.”

The Interior Ministry states that Abdalmash H is a Syrian national with legal refugee status in France since arriving in the country last year. He was not previously known to security agencies, and his motives remain unclear.

Verified images posted on social media show Abdalmash H approaching the children wearing shorts, sunglasses, and a headscarf before carrying out the attack.

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Following a brief struggle, the knife-wielding assailant was swiftly arrested. In the video, three armed police officers and a civilian can be seen pinning him down on the grass before he was taken away.

Abdalmash H sustained serious injuries during the police intervention and was immediately taken to the hospital along with his five victims.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted, “Several people, including children, were injured by an individual armed with a knife in a square in Annecy. Thanks to the very rapid intervention of the police, the individual was arrested.”

President Emmanuel Macron expressed his condemnation via Twitter, stating, “Attack of absolute cowardice this morning in a park in Annecy. Children and an adult are between life and death. The Nation is in shock. Our thoughts are with them, as well as their families and the emergency services who responded.”

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne is en-route to the scene of the attack, accompanied by her aide.

Antoine Armand, a local politician, described the attack as “abominable,” emphasizing that children were targeted in a playground. He expressed his support for the victims, their families, and the law enforcement and rescue personnel involved.

Upon learning about the knife attack, politicians in the National Assembly in Paris interrupted their debate to observe a minute of silence in honor of the victims. Assembly President Yaƫl Braun-Pivet urged everyone to pay their respects to the young children in critical condition, their families, and expressed hope that the consequences of this grave attack would not lead to national mourning.