Syrian refugee stabs children on playground in France, circulating online video shows

(Photo by PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
2:19 PM – Thursday, June 8, 2023

According to French authorities, a knife-carrying man from Syria attacked four young children and two adults on a playground in the French Alpine town of Annecy on Thursday morning.


French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne verified rumors that the suspect was a Syrian man who had reportedly applied for refugee status in France.

“We are talking about a Syrian refugee who has refugee status in Sweden and who applied for asylum in France, but this was overridden by the Swedish one,” Borne told the press. “This person has no criminal record and neither does he have any kind of psychiatric record.”  

According to public prosecutor Linne Bonnett, there did not “seem to be any kind of terrorist motivation” behind the heinous attack on the kids when they were just simply having fun at a nearby child’s play area.

Tweet Translation: “Several people including children were injured by an individual armed with a knife in a square in Annecy. The individual was arrested thanks to the very rapid intervention of the police.”

Six individuals, including four children, were badly hurt in the attack, French police subsequently confirmed. However, there has not been any new reports of deaths yet.

At least three of the victims’ conditions were described as critical earlier by the local daily newspaper, Le Dauphiné libéré, as ambulances transported the victims to a hospital nearby.

According to police reports, the kids were around three years old and were playing at the Jardins de l’Europe lakeside park with their kindergarten class. The neighborhood’s police head issued a warning to the public and ordered the area to be blocked off.

As police questioned witnesses, soldiers blocked nearby roadways. The Quai Jules-Philippe school, which is located on the other side of the canal that empties into Lake Annecy, was also ordered to have a security cordon established around it by the police.

President Emmanuel Macron condemned what he called an “absolutely cowardly attack.”

“Children and an adult are between life and death,” he tweeted. “The nation is in shock. Our thoughts are with them as well as with their families and the emergency services on the scene.”

One witness at the scene told a local radio station that the man could be heard speaking clearly to himself and was undeniably targeting the kids.

Circulating online videos of the incident that were uploaded to social media showed the man chasing kids and adults with a knife in his hand while sporting a beard, dark sunglasses, and shorts that revealed a leg tattoo. In one video, a woman pushing a stroller with a toddler appeared to challenge the man as he approached, and she was heard yelling in English, “No! Get away from the children.”

During a discussion of contentious pension reforms, the French National Assembly paused to observe a moment of silence in honor of the victims.

However, the video is currently being taken down, as we speak, on Twitter and other outlets due to complaints of violence.

The assailant is now in police custody.

This is a developing story.

Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

Share this post!