A French soldier stabbed in the neck yesterday while patrolling at a Metro-station mall in La Defense on the western edge of Paris remains hospitalized without life-threatening injuries.
Cedric Cordier, 25, spent the night at a military hospital in Clamart, southwest of Paris, where he will be under observation for 48 hours, according to an Interior Ministry official. The Paris criminal police are investigating the incident at the request of the antiterrorist prosecutor, the official said.
The assailant is still at large, Pierre-Andre Peyvel, prefect of Hauts-de-Seine, told reporters at the scene in an interview televised by i-Tele after yesterday's incident.
Elements of the crime, in particular “the sudden violence of the attack” and the “very violent” targeting of the uniformed soldier, are similar to a London assault on May 22, Interior Minister Manuel Valls told i-Tele.
Two men are suspected of killing 25-year-old British soldier Lee Rigby with knives and cleavers in the middle of a road across from an army barracks in the U.K. capital. The men, one of whom was linked to a banned Islamist organization, were shot during their arrest and are hospitalized as the police investigation continues.
The French soldier was part of a team of military personnel and police working on security in the Paris area where he was attacked, according to an e-mailed statement yesterday from the Interior and Defense ministries.
Valls called for “prudence,” saying investigators are still trying to understand the circumstances behind the incident.
French antiterrorist measures, currently at the second-highest level on a four-step scale, have been reinforced since France’s January military intervention in Mali.
“We will study all hypotheses,” French President Francois Hollande said in a televised statement. “We still don’t know the exact circumstances surrounding the attack.”