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Paris knife attacker injures seven

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Evidence is marked out in north-east Paris

Seven people have been injured, four seriously, in an attack by a man wielding a knife and an iron bar in the French capital Paris, police say.

The attack took place just before 23:00 (21:00 GMT) on the banks of a canal in Paris’s 19th district.

People playing pétanque – a French bowling game – threw balls at the attacker to try to stop him.

The man, said to be Afghan, was later arrested. The incident is currently not being treated as a terrorist attack.

The man initially stabbed two men and a woman near the MK2 cinema on the quai de Loire, along the Ourcq canal, reports say.

Eyewitness Youssef Najah, 28, said he was walking beside the canal when he saw a man running and holding a knife about 25-30cm (10-11 inches) long.

“There were around 20 people chasing him. They started throwing pétanque balls at him,” he said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Pétanque is typically played with hand-sized hollow metal balls (file photo)

“Around four or five balls hit him in the head, but they weren’t able to stop him,” he added.

The man then reportedly attacked the two British tourists in a nearby street.

The British embassy in Paris told the BBC: “Our consular staff are assisting two British people who have been hospitalised in Paris, and are in contact with French medical staff who are treating them.”

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Police cordoned off the area after the attacks

The mayor of Paris thanked the officers of the police anti-crime squad (BAC) who arrested the man. She also thanked the passers-by who tried to stop the attacker.

A French police source said: “At this stage, there is nothing to indicate that it could be a terrorist attack.”

There have been several knife attacks in France over the past few months, but few have resulted in terrorist investigations.

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Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45468082

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