Now a French Soldier Has Been Stabbed

Copycat or coincidence?
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2013 5:29 PM CDT
Police officers stand near the cordoned off spot where a French soldier was stabbed in the throat in the busy commercial district of La Defense, outside Paris.   (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

(Newser) – A uniformed French soldier was stabbed near Paris while on patrol today, prompting speculation that it may have been a copycat attack of Wednesday's London soldier slaying. The attacker is thought to be North African, and was wearing a robe and Muslim prayer cap, the Washington Post reports. He attacked the soldier, 23, from behind, stabbing him in the neck with a knife or box-cutter, Reuters reports. The soldier reportedly lost a lot of blood, but is alive in hospital.

The attacker remains at large. "The aim was to kill the soldier because he was a soldier," said the French defense minister, per CNN, adding that the attacker wanted "to kill a soldier who is in charge of French security." Authorities are investigating any possible links with the London attack. But a motivation that is as or more likely, suggests the Post, is France's current military intervention in Mali. (Read more France stories.)

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