French anti-terrorism police probe stabbing

Anti-terrorism investigators search for man who stabbed soldier in the throat on edge of Paris.

    French anti-terrorism investigators are searching for a man who stabbed a soldier in the throat in the commercial district of La Defense outside Paris.

    The 23-year-old soldier, Cedric Cordier, was in uniform patrolling the busy underground corridors where shops and crowded public transport lines converge beneath the famous Arch of La Defense on Saturday when he was stabbed.

    The attack came days after a British soldier was hacked to death on a London street in broad daylight in a suspected terrorist attack that has raised fears of potential copycat strikes. However, there was no immediate confirmation of any link between the two attacks.

    Cordier remained hospitalised on Sunday, but officials said his throat wound was not life-threatening.

    The French soldier was on a group patrol as part of a national protection programme when he was attacked from behind.

    France's defence minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who visited Cordier at the hospital on Saturday evening, said he had been targeted because he was a soldier.

    Speaking shortly after the attack while on an official visit to Ethiopia, French President Francois Hollande said that while "all hypotheses" will be investigated, there did not appear to be a link with Wednesday's deadly attack in London.

    French security forces have been on heightened alert since their country launched a military intervention in the African nation of Mali in January to regain territory seized by rebels. British Prime Minister David Cameron was himself in Paris meeting with Hollande when he first received word of the London attack.

    Last year, three French paratroopers were killed by a man police described as a French-born Muslim who then went on to strike a Jewish school in the south of France, killing four more people.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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