An Afghan national has been arrested by French authorities after attacking several passers-by on the streets of Le Mans on Wednesday, leaving two injured.
The incident took place on Wednesday afternoon at around 2 p.m. local time, when the assailant, believed to be in his thirties, accosted several pedestrians near to Pont du Greffier.
According to French newspaper Le Figaro, the alleged attacker is originally from Afghanistan and obtained the bladed weapon from a nearby supermarket on Avenue de la Liberation minutes before the attack.
An eyewitness reported that a man with a black beard entered the Super U store and was screaming incomprehensibly. “He was scary, everyone was taken aback, stressed. An employee allegedly asked him to calm down before the main complied and went to the kitchen utensil section,” a customer told reporters.
Authorities arrived quickly on the scene after the attack and arrested the individual, “who did not have all his wits about him,” according to police. He was transported to the hospital and held under police guard. It is thought that a police officer also sustained non life-threatening injuries in the arrest.
In a press release, public prosecutor Delphine Dewailly explained the man had “attacked passers-by by stabbing them while repeatedly uttering words in Arabic.” It all took place at the beginning of the afternoon near the Pont du Greffier, also called Pont de Fer, in Le Mans.
“Of a foreign nationality” and “recently settled in Le Mans,” the Afghan migrant was in possession of “a valid residence permit,” according to the prosecution.
The two victims, whose injuries are not thought to be life-threatening, were transported to a Le Mans hospital.
The suspect is undergoing a psychiatric examination and will face charges of attempted murder.