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Annecy Animation Film Fest responds to knife attack just days before 2023 edition opens


A knife attack on Thursday shook the French Alpine town of Annecy just days before the annual Annecy International Animation Film Festival kicks off on Sunday.

An assailant stabbed several young children and at least one adult with a knife, leaving some with life-threatening injuries, authorities said. The motive and identity of the attacker were not immediately clear. The attack took place on Le Paquier, the large lawn near Lake Annecy where most of the city’s events take place.

“The management and team of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival were shocked to learn about the tragic events that took place this morning at Le Paquier,” the organizers said in a statement. “Our thoughts immediately go out to the victims and their families.”

The party, which takes place from June 11 to 17 in the lakeside city 35 kilometers south of Geneva, Switzerland, is expected to attract some 14,000 animation experts and fans. Nicknamed the “Pearl of the French Alps”, it had a population of about 132,000 as of 2020.

In a terse tweet, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said police had apprehended the attacker. “Several people, including children, have been injured by a person armed with a knife in a square in Annecy,” he tweeted.

Witnesses said some of the children appeared very young. A man speaking to broadcaster BFMTV said he saw first aiders working on “little bodies, maybe 3 or 4 years old”.

A local lawmaker, Antoine Armand, said the children were attacked in a playground. Speaking to BFMTV from the National Assembly building in Paris, he said the victims included “very young” children and they were “viciously attacked”. The attack took place near an elementary school, he said.

National police and an Interior Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak about the developing situation, both said four children were among the injured.

Police said two of the children suffered life-threatening injuries and the other two suffered minor injuries. An adult also suffered life-threatening injuries, police said. Both the police and the Interior Ministry official warned that the number of injured could evolve as full details were not yet clear.

In Paris, lawmakers interrupted a debate to hold a moment of silence for the victims.

Assembly President Yaël Braun-Pivet said: “There are some very young children who are in critical condition and I invite you to respect a minute of silence for them, for their families, and so that, as we hope, the consequences of this very serious attack will not lead to mourning of the nation.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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