In a shocking incident that has left France in a state of disbelief, four children and two adults were grievously injured in a stabbing event perpetrated by a Syrian “asylum seeker” in the city of Annecy, Haute-Savoie.
Occurring at 9:45 a.m. local time in a popular playground, the victims included a young British and German child among the wounded.
The principal suspect in this crime is a 31-year-old Syrian refugee, identified as “Abdalmasih H.,” who has been residing in Sweden since 2013.
French authorities quickly apprehended him following the incident, reportedly shooting the suspect in the legs before subduing him.
Reports claim a three-year-old girl of English nationality is among the wounded, as well as a two-year-old boy, both of whom are in intensive care.
A 70-year-old man was reportedly stabbed in the neck.
The suspect, a father to a three-year-old, is no stranger to the French immigration system.
In late 2022, Abdalmasih sought asylum in France through the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (Ofpra).
However, his application was declined given his already-established refugee status in Sweden.
With this status, Abdalmasih was allowed to travel freely within the Schengen area, effectively legitimizing his presence in France.
French President Emmanuel Macron strongly condemned the incident, labeling it an “attack of absolute cowardice.”
In a tweet, he expressed the nation’s shock and his deepest sympathies to the victims and their families.
“Children and an adult are between life and death,” he tweeted. “The Nation is in shock. Our thoughts are with them as well as their families and the emergency services mobilized.”
He disclosed that two of the injured children and one adult are in critical condition, their lives hanging in the balance.
Elisabeth Borne, who was present at the scene, was visibly distraught, describing the incident as a “heinous, unspeakable act.”
Despite the shocking nature of the crime, the public prosecutor of Annecy, Line Bonet-Mathis, stated that there is currently “no apparent terrorist motive.”
While the victims are in our thoughts and the nation reels from this incident, it serves as a reminder of the complexities and difficulties associated with refugee and asylum policies in the European Union.
French news sources reported that the attacker said “in the name of Jesus Christ” at the time of the attack.
The Syrian man apparently said the phrase twice in English during the attack, and was wearing a Christian cross when he was arrested.
He allegedly presented himself as a “Christian from Syria” when applying for asylum in November 2022.
Eva Vlaadringerbroek, a conservative commentator, blamed the incident on Europe’s open borders policy and commitment to mass immigration.
“Seven more kids sacrificed on the [altar] of mass migration & diversity,” she tweeted. “When will Europeans finally say enough is enough? Where is our will to protect our children? When will we rise up?”
Watch part of the incident below (WARNING: GRAPHIC):