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Ex-Liverpool and Sunderland player speaks after being caught up in France knife attack

Ex-Liverpool and Sunderland player Anthony Le Tallec speaks after being caught up in the France knife attack with four children injured.

Four children, including a British national, have “life-threatening” injuries following a knife incident in Annecy (southeast France).

Broadcaster BFMTV reported that two adults, one of which is 78 years old, were also injured, with Foreign Secretary James Cleverly confirming that one of these youngsters is British and the children range in age from 22 months to three years.

One of the injured adults suffered knife wounds and the second was injured both by the attacker’s knife and later by a shot fired by police as they made the arrest.

French President Emmanuel Macron said those badly hurt in a park were “between life and death”.

A man who spoke to broadcaster BFMTV said he saw first aiders working on “little bodies, three or four years old, perhaps”.

A witness who gave his name as Ferdinand told BFMTV: “He (the attacker) jumped (in the playground), started shouting and then went towards the strollers, repeatedly hitting the little ones with a knife.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “The UK and France have always stood together against acts of violence, and we do so again today.”

“Mothers were crying, everybody was running,” said George, who owns a nearby restaurant.

A further witness said he saw the attacker assault an elderly man, jumping on him and stabbing him repeatedly. He said he yelled at police to act.

“It’s a place where babysitters and parents take young children to play, and the atmosphere is fantastic,” said Yohan, who works at an ice cream parlour just opposite the park.

Anthony Le Tallec was involved in the Annecy attack and confronted the perpetrator.

He witnessed the rampage and said he was forced to shout at the police to shoot the knifeman as he watched a man being stabbed before the officers opened fire.

The former Premier League footballer filmed horrific scenes of a Syrian refugee stabbing children as he ran riot in the French Alps. Later, he shared his account on Instagram.

Le Tallec said he realised that something was wrong while jogging in the pristine waters around Lake Annecy at the foothills in the Alps. A wave of panicked onlookers rushed in the other direction.

Le Tallec recalled that a mother shouted to him to run as the group fled the attack.

‘There’s someone stabbing everyone along the lakeshore. He’s knifed children,’ Le Tallec quoted the woman as screaming, as he gave a video account of what he saw.

Le Tallec said he ‘was so surprised’ that he kept jogging through the park in the town of Annecy.

‘Then suddenly the guy appeared in front of me. Then I saw the police who were ten metres behind him but they hadn’t managed to get him yet. He was so near to me so I got out of the way.’

‘I see that he’s heading straight for a group of elderly men and women. He attacks one grandpa, stabs him once, the cops can’t catch him, so I tell the cops, ‘shoot him’,’ Le Tallec, who put some footage via his Instagram story, continued.

‘Then they start shooting, they shoot at the person, right in front of me, and he falls to the ground.’

He added: ‘After I continued on my way then I saw in front of the lake, children on the ground – so very sad. But the police, the slowness, that’s what I noticed, the slowness was incredible, the slowness to trigger something (shoot). The guy had the time to stab the dad twice.

‘He spoke English. At the beginning, we all thought it was staged, but with the cries of people, we realised it was reality.’

A police spokesperson said that the perpetrator was a Syrian asylum seeker aged 31 who had Swedish identity documents as well as a Swedish driver’s license.

He was unknown to the security agencies and entered France legally.

Line Bonnet-Mathis, prosecutor in Annecy, stated that a police gun was used to detain him, resulting in a slight injury.

She stated that “there is no apparent terrorist motive at this stage” of the investigation.

She said that the perpetrator had been a refugee in Sweden for 10 years.

Ms Bonnet-Mathis stated that there is no intelligence report on him, no psychiatric assessment, and he does not have a fixed address.

BFMTV reported that he is married to a Swedish lady and the couple has a child of three years old who was born in Sweden.

His wife has not heard from him in four months.

BFMTV reported that he and his wife studied together to become nurses.

A source told Reuters that his motivation was unclear.

Ex-Liverpool and Sunderland player speaks after being caught up in France knife attack
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