Paris attack: Stabbing near Charlie Hebdo office ‘an act of terror’

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image captionPolice sealed off the scene of the attack

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.css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}A stabbing in Paris that left two people seriously injured is being treated as a terror attack, the French interior minister has said.

Gérald Darmanin said the attack near the former office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was “clearly an act of Islamist terrorism”.

A man of Pakistani origin described as the main suspect was arrested near the scene.

At least four other people have also been arrested.

The victims – a man and a woman who worked at a TV production company – were seriously injured by a machete-type weapon, police said. Prime Minister Jean Castex told reporters at the scene – near the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir – that their lives were not in danger.

The attack came as a high-profile trial was under way of 14 people accused of helping two jihadists carry out the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were killed.

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The magazine has since moved to a secret location.

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What do officials say happened?

In an interview with broadcaster France 2, Mr Darmanin described the stabbing as “a new bloody attack against our country, against journalists”.

“It’s the street where Charlie Hebdo used to be. This is the way the Islamist terrorists operate,” the interior minister said.

He said he had ordered security to be stepped up around synagogues this weekend for Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.

The main suspect has not been named, but Mr Darmanin said he arrived in the country three years ago “as an isolated minor” of Pakistani nationality.

The minister added that the suspect was not known for being radicalised, but had a previous arrest for carrying a screwdriver.

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How did the attack unfold?

Colleagues of the victims said they had been outside the Premieres Lignes news production agency smoking a cigarette when they were attacked.

“I went to the window and saw a colleague, bloodied, being chased by a man with a machete,” one employee, who asked not to be named, said.

“They were both very badly wounded,” Paul Moreira, the founder and co-head of Premieres Lignes, told AFP news agency.

Police quickly sealed off the area and a blade – described as a machete or a meat cleaver – was recovered nearby.

Police then arrested the main suspect in the nearby Bastille area with blood on his clothing, officials told the BBC.

Shortly afterwards a man said to be from Algeria was also arrested. Some hours later three men of Pakistani origin were arrested during a search of one of the suspected homes of the main suspect in the north-eastern suburb of Pantin, Le Figaro reported.

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