French counterterrorism prosecutors have begun a terrorism investigation into a knife attack near the former offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Paris police arrested a suspect believed to be responsible for wounding at least two people in the knife attack on Friday.
Associated Press reporters at the scene saw police flooding into the neighbourhood in eastern Paris, near the Richard Lenoir metro station.
The terrorism investigation was opened into « attempted murder in relation with a terrorist enterprise, » according to an official at the prosecutor’s office.
A police official said that while authorities initially thought two attackers were involved, they now believed it was only one person, who was detained near the Bastille plaza in eastern Paris.
Police initially announced that four people were wounded in the attack, but the official told The Associated Press that there were in fact only two confirmed wounded.
Two police sources said a blade was found at the scene — one described the blade as a machete, the other called it a meat cleaver.
The two wounded people suffered critical injuries and were in « absolutely urgent » condition, the official said.
French media reported that the two wounded, a man and a woman, were employees of documentary production company Premieres Lignes and were having a cigarette outside their offices when they were attacked.
The police official said officers had cordoned off the stabbing scene, including the former Charlie Hebdo offices, after a suspicious package was noticed nearby.
It is unclear what motivated the attack or whether it had any link to Charlie Hebdo, which moved offices after 12 people were killed in an attack by Islamic extremists in 2015.
The satirical newspaper marked the beginning of the trial by re-running cartoons mocking the prophet Mohammed.
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Charlie Hebdo shooting, Paris
Actu monde – AU – Terrorism investigation launched after two wounded in Paris knife attack near former Charlie Hebdo offices