Skip to main content

Police: French soldier stabbed in neck while on patrol

From Saskya Vandoorne, CNN
May 27, 2013 -- Updated 0034 GMT (0834 HKT)
A police investigator works at the site where a man attacked a French soldier patrolling a subway station in Paris.
A police investigator works at the site where a man attacked a French soldier patrolling a subway station in Paris.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • France's defense minister says the soldier was intentionally targeted
  • He was stabbed in the neck from behind, police said
  • The soldier is hospitalized with non-life-threatening wounds
  • A manhunt is on for the attacker

Paris (CNN) -- A French soldier who was stabbed Saturday on the western outskirts of Paris was targeted because of his military service, France's defense minister said.

"The aim was to kill the soldier because he was a soldier," Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told CNN affiliate BFMTV. The attacker wanted "to kill a soldier who is in charge of French security," he said.

The soldier was stabbed in the neck from behind with either a knife or a box cutter, a Hauts-de-Seine police spokesman said.

The soldier, 23, was hospitalized with non-life-threatening wounds, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

The attacker was wearing a robe and appeared to be North African, said Laurent Lefebvre, a spokesman for Syndicat Alliance Police Nationale, a French police union.

Hauts-de-Seine police said they were screening surveillance video. The case has been passed on to anti-terrorism investigators in Paris.

The soldier was on patrol as part of a heightened security plan initiated in certain areas following France's intervention in Mali earlier this year, French President Francois Hollande said.

The attacker fled, triggering a manhunt, Interior Ministry spokesman Marie Murault said.

The incident occurred late in the afternoon in the La Defense neighborhood as the soldier was on a joint patrol with police, the ministry said.

It comes days after an attack in which a British soldier was hit by a car and hacked to death in southeastern London. Moments later, one of his alleged attackers was filmed saying the soldier was killed "because Muslims are dying daily" and that "we must fight them as they fight us," in an apparent reference to British and allied forces' role in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

London attack: Terrorists targeting soldiers at home again?

London attack mirror plot to behead Muslim soldier

CNN's Chelsea J. Carter contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 0135 GMT (0935 HKT)
Three Americans detained in North Korea spoke out about their conditions and pleaded for U.S. help in interviews with CNN.
Hundreds of jihadis in Syria are from abroad -- which countries have the biggest problem?
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 1951 GMT (0351 HKT)
CNN attends a funeral where mourners keep their distance.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 0913 GMT (1713 HKT)
Libyan militia members have apparently turned the abandoned U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, into a water park.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 2053 GMT (0453 HKT)
Obama's remarks that he didn't yet have a strategy for ISIS in Syria is widely criticized.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 1126 GMT (1926 HKT)
A few miles south of the town of Starobeshevo in eastern Ukraine, a group of men in uniform is slumped under a tree.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 0125 GMT (0925 HKT)
Beijing says only candidates approved by a nominating committee can run for Hong Kong's chief executive, prompting criticism.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0823 GMT (1623 HKT)
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0946 GMT (1746 HKT)
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 0520 GMT (1320 HKT)
In a major breach of privacy, a hacker leaked a series of pictures allegedly showing Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities in the nude.
Instead of weaving garments sold in the West, children should be in school
According to the International Labour Organization, there are 168 million child laborers around the world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT