Horrifying video footage captured a Syrian refugee viciously stabbing adults and children in a French playground on Thursday, including a toddler in a stroller.
The 90-second clip that was shared online showed the man, wearing shorts and a blue headscarf, repeatedly attacking people in the beautiful town of Annecy, leaving at least six injured, four of them being kids under the age of five who are now struggling for their lives. French authorities later identified the assailant as a 31-year-old Syrian national with legal refugee status in France, and President Emmanuel Macron called it an “act of absolute cowardice”.
The clip opens with the suspect exiting the play area of Le Paquiet Park as loud shrieks resonate in the air. A man can be heard yelling “Jesus Christ!” as the man calmly manipulates a chain around his neck, while he holds a knife. A woman then attempts to push two young children in a double stroller away from the assailant, who is running in circles around them. A brave man then attempts to tackle the attacker, swinging a bag at him, and yelling for the police. The knifeman then jumps over a small wall, running straight at the woman pushing the double stroller. The woman yells “get away!” in English, as she stands between him and the stroller. As people cautiously try to intervene, the crazed attacker goes back to the stroller multiple times, leaning over and stabbing downward repeatedly, with the sound of a young child screaming in terror.
“Police! Police!” someone yells as the man with the bag continues to try and stop the attacker, until he is eventually overpowered by the cops. As stated by lead prosecutor Line Bonnet-Mathis, four children, between the ages of 22 months and 3 years, were gravely wounded. Two adults were also hurt. Some of the victims were tourists, and one of them being a British national, according to authorities. Eye witnesses reported that at least one person that was stabbed had been in a stroller.
An ice cream seller who works in the park also said he had seen the attacker several days prior to the attack. The motive behind the attack is still unknown, but authorities are sure it has no relation to terrorism. Bonnet-Mathis stated that the suspect is a 31-year-old Syrian national who was given refugee status in Sweden, and entered France legally and was not known to security agencies. In Paris, a moment of silence was held for the victims, and Macron tweeted that “the nation is in shock”.