French soldier slashed by man angry over ‘Syria bombings’

Paris, May 27 (IANS) A French soldier was attacked in what may have been revenge for France’s military action in Syria. The sergeant was slashed twice with a box-cutter knife by two assailants, according to local media.

The incident happened on Thursday night as the victim was exercising in the town of Saint-Julien-du Puy, in the Tarn area of southern France. The man, who belongs to the 8th parachute regiment based in Casters, was wearing his military attire at the time, L’Express reported.

The 30-year-old later told police that two people had forced him to the ground while shouting that it was revenge for French airstrikes against Islamic State forces in Syria. One of the attackers used a box-cutter knife to slash the victim twice, Europe1 radio reported.

The soldier was found by passers-by and taken to hospital. He remains in serious condition, but his life is not in danger, French media said.

One of the attackers was reportedly identified by police. He is said to have a criminal record over drugs-related offences. The second assailant remains at large.

The attack follows similar recent assaults on French troops in their home country. Last month a soldier on patrol was sliced by an “Arabic-speaking man” wielding a box cutter, The Local reported.

In February last year a man staged a knife attack on soldiers patrolling in Nice, and in May 2013 a soldier was attacked with a knife in La Defence business district near Paris.

The incidents were attributed to mental health issues rather than political extremism.



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