Children targeted during knife attack at Lake Annecy, France

Four young children and two adults have been viciously stabbed in a park near Lake Annecy, in France’s south-east.

According to reports, a man of Syrian nationality attacked several people with a knife at around 9.40am Thursday morning in a park near Lac d’Annecy, around six hours north of Monaco and about an hour south of Geneva.

The man, a 31-year-old refugee from Sweden with Syrian nationality, attacked the children – some in pushchairs – as they visited the park, before fleeing the scene and stabbing an elderly man nearby.

Police intervened and the perpetrator was shot in the legs minutes later at 9.45am.

The attack took place in a “a playground where there are boats, pedal boats, and an incalculable number of tourists”, a witness told BFMTV.

According to BFMTV, AFP and Le Parisien, the alleged attacker obtained political refugee status in Sweden and is married to a woman whom he shares a three-year-old child.

The victims are in a serious condition in hospital, one adult and two children are reportedly critical.

President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that the nation was in “shock” over the “act of cowardice”.

UPDATE: According to information from BFMTV, among the injured children are a brother and sister aged two and three, a 22-month-old German child and a two-year-old child from England.

The alleged attacker arrived in France legally at the end of last year, after having been a resident for 10 years in Sweden. He reportedly applied for asylum in France in November 2022, but in the meantime, he was granted refugee status in Sweden on 26th April. His French request was therefore refused, as he was already considered a refugee in Sweden.

The man had reportedly declared himself a “Christian from Syria” in his asylum seeker file lodged in France.

There’s currently no indication of what the man’s motive was. Oolice have launched a criminal investigation and there is no evidence of a link to terrorism.


Photo of Lac d’Annecy by Monaco Life