Paris knife attacker deliberately targeted French people: prosecutor

A Mali-born man suspected of injuring several people with a knife and hammer at a Paris railway station deliberately sought French people to attack, the Paris prosecutor said Tuesday.

The 32-year-old man went on a stabbing spree early Saturday, injuring at least three people at the Gare de Lyon station, which operates suburban, national and international routes to Switzerland and Italy.

The suspect's statements and the content of his phone "have led us to suspect that he did what he did to target French people because they belong to the French nation", prosecutor Laure Beccuau said in a statement.

French anti-terrorism prosecutors are not getting immediately involved.

Prosecutors are instead treating the case as attempted murder, suspecting that the man selected targets on the basis of their "race, ethnicity, nation or religion", Beccuau said, adding that the charge can be punished with life imprisonment.

A psychiatric evaluation has not shown any diminished criminal responsibility, the prosecutor said.

Prosecutors have said the suspect was to appear before an investigating magistrate Tuesday to potentially be charged with attempted murder.

One 66-year-old man remained in critical condition after the suspect stabbed him in the abdomen and hit him twice on the head with a hammer, Beccuau said.

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(with AFP)

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