Man Stabs Several People, Including Children, in France, Authorities Say

A knife-wielding man stabbed several people, including children, in southeastern France on Thursday, the French authorities said.

The interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, said on Twitter that the man had injured several people in a park in Annecy, a city of about 130,000 people in southeastern France. The extent of the injuries and the assailant’s motive were not immediately clear, nor was the age of the children he stabbed.

Mr. Darmanin said that a suspect had been arrested.

Antoine Armand, a lawmaker for the Haute-Savoie area, which includes Annecy, said on Twitter that there had been an “abominable knife attack on children in a playground” in the city. “We know very little at this stage,” Mr. Armand said.

The local authorities said that a police operation was underway at the Jardins de l’Europe, a popular lakefront park in Annecy, and asked members of the public to stay away from the area.

France’s lower house of Parliament observed a minute of silence after news broke of the attack, briefly interrupting fiery debates among lawmakers on President Emmanuel Macron’s pension overhaul law.

Yaël Braun-Pivet, the speaker of the lower house, said the French prime minister was traveling to Annecy because of the attack.

“There are very young children who are grievously wounded,” Ms. Braun-Pivet said.

Terrorist attacks have receded from the headlines in France in recent years, but the country is still on high alert, and the authorities say that the police and intelligence services regularly foil plots.

Although the motive for the stabbings on Thursday was unknown, France was struck by large-scale Islamist terrorist attacks in 2015 and in 2016, followed by a string of smaller but still deadly shootings and stabbings in subsequent years, often carried out by lone assailants.

Attacks specifically targeting children are rare in France. In 1993, a masked gunman held toddlers hostage for two days at their kindergarten in a suburb of Paris, but he ultimately released them unharmed before he was killed by police officers.

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