French anti-terror unit investigating stabbing of soldier

By REUTERS
May 26, 2013 15:02




PARIS - A state anti-terrorism unit is investigating the stabbing of a French soldier in Paris that police said may have been inspired by the killing of a British serviceman in a London street.

Police are hunting for a bearded man about 30 years old and possibly of North African origin who fled into a crowded train station after attacking the 23-year-old soldier from behind with a knife or a box-cutter on Saturday.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls tasked a Paris anti-terror unit with the investigation. He said on Saturday night that the attack's spontaneous nature recalled the daytime murder of a British soldier on May 22 by two men shouting Islamist slogans.

Police union UNSA spokesman Christophe Crepin said there were similarities with the London attack.

"I think this person wanted to imitate what happened in London," he told Itele television, echoing France's defense minister who said earlier that the soldier had been targeted because of his uniform.

But Valls warned against jumping to conclusions about an Islamist militant attack because police had yet to arrest a suspect or gather enough evidence to offer any theories about its motivation.


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