UPDATE, Writethru: Two people have been injured, including one who is in serious condition, in a knife attack near the former offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris’ 11th arrondissement. The police have arrested one suspect and detained another in the attack whose details are still unfolding. It has yet to be confirmed if the attack was terrorist related, however the national anti-terrorism unit has opened an investigation into a possible “assassination attempt in connection with a terrorist enterprise or criminal terrorist association.”
The injured are employees at independent TV production company and news agency Premieres Lignes which occupies the same floor as Charlie Hebdo’s former offices. The latter was the site of a terrorist attack which left 12 dead in January 2015. Premières Lignes co-produced HBO/BBC/France 2 documentary Three Days Of Terror: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks in 2016. It is also known for French investigative news program Cash Investigation, among others.
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Paul Moreira, journalist and co-director of Premières Lignes, told BFMTV that the company had not received any threats ahead of the attack which took place just before noon local time today. “It happened extremely quickly,” he said. The injured, a man and a woman, were on a cigarette break in front of the building when an assailant attacked them with “a sort of meat cleaver.”
Thousands of students were confined inside their schools as a precaution in the surrounding 11th, 3rd and 4th arrondissements; nurseries and senior residences also have been locked down. Six metro stations in the area were closed in the aftermath, including Bastille. French Prime Minister Jean Castex, France’s Minister of the Interior Gérald Darminin and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo have just arrived in the area.
Today’s events are a chilling reminder of the massacre at Charlie Hebdo and also come as a landmark trial recently opened over the Charlie Hebdo killings and related terrorist attacks that resulted in a further five fatalities around the capital.
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