Home / News / France stabbings: Hero chased knifeman and threw his bag at him to stop frenzied attack

France stabbings: Hero chased knifeman and threw his bag at him to stop frenzied attack

Dec 26, 2023Dec 26, 2023

A man has been hailed a hero on social media after hitting a knifeman and chasing after him during an attack at a playground in Annecy, in the French Alps, this morning

A man has been hailed a hero after chasing a knifeman and throwing his bag at him in an attempt to stop a frenzied attack in the French Alps this morning.

The attacker ran in and out of a small playground in the town of Annecy this morning, critically injuring four very small children, including a 22-month-old toddler.

In a horrific video of the attack, which was filmed on a mobile phone, the hero, dressed in black, can be seen hitting the knifeman with his bag and then chasing after him.

People can be heard screaming and babies crying in the mayhem.

When the attacker goes to leave the playground, the man - hailed by Twitter users as a hero - continues to pursue him.

Earlier in the clip, a woman bravely tries to fend off the attacker and forcefully launches herself at him after he repeatedly lunges towards what appears to be a double pushchair.

As the attacker returns to the pram, the woman, dressed in a long dark sleeveless cardigan and patterned dress, throws her arms out to protect the pram. She pushes herself against the attacker and falls to her knees.

Screaming and shouting are heard. Behind a children's slide, another woman, dressed in pink, is holding a baby as she attempts to back away.

The four children, aged between 22 months and three years, remain in intensive care. The Annecy prosecutor said: "Their state of health is extremely fragile, today they are still in intensive care."

In total, six people were injured of which four were children. Two of the children are French, one is British and one Dutch.

All of the victims were stabbed with an adult severely injured and another lightly wounded. One of the adults was shot by police during the arrest.

More than 200 emergency service personnel were mobilised, including 160 police officers, 15 doctors and 60 paramedic firefighters.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said the country is in shock but is "standing firm" after the horrific attack.

The attacker was a Syrian national who was granted refugee status in Sweden 10 years ago, she said.

She said the man has a child who is the same age as the children he attacked.

He has no criminal or psychiatric record and appeared to have acted alone, according to Ms Borne.

"We are talking here about infants, very young infants who have been very seriously injured," she told the press conference, according to a translation.

"We are absolutely shaken by all this and we are standing firm by the people of Annecy."

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, speaking at an OECD ministerial council press conference in France hours after the attack, said: "We have already deployed British consular officials who are travelling to the area to make themselves available to support the family.

"And of course, we stand in strong solidarity with the people of France at this terrible time."

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