2 stabbed near Charlie Hebdo's old offices

PARIS • France opened an anti-terror investigation after two journalists were stabbed in Paris yesterday near the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine that was attacked by Islamist militants in 2015.

Prime Minister Jean Castex, who rushed to the scene, said the main attacker had been arrested. A second person was also in custody.

Mr Castex said the two wounded people were journalists having a smoke in the street near the building, and that their lives were not in danger.

“This attack happened in a symbolic place at the time when the trial (for) the terrible attacks on Charlie Hebdo took place,” he said.

A witness told Europe 1 radio: “I was in my office. I heard screams on the road. I looked out of the window and saw a woman who was lying on the floor and had taken a whack in the face from what was possibly a machete.”

Another neighbour, who heard the attack, told Reuters there was a long, deathly shout from “a person who was screaming and screaming”.

Europe 1 radio quoted police officials as saying the main suspect, aged 18, was known to security services and was born in Pakistan.

The national anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office said it was investigating the case.

Fourteen people went on trial in Paris on Sept 2, accused of being accomplices in the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in January 2015 that killed 12 people.

The court heard that they had sought to avenge the Prophet Mohammad, nearly a decade after the weekly published cartoons mocking him.

Police moved Charlie Hebdo’s head of human resources from her home this week after threats against her life.

Mr Paul Moreira, a journalist from Premiere Ligne media production company, told BFM TV that two of his colleagues had been wounded.

“It’s somebody… with a meat cleaver who attacked them in front of our offices. It was chilling,” he said.

REUTERS

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