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Children stabbed in knife attack in France

A suspect is in custody after the attack in the Alpine town of Annecy, police told NBC News.
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PARIS — An attacker with a knife stabbed four young children and two adults in a French alpine town Thursday before being arrested, police said.

Police said the children were as young as 3 and that three of the injured — two children and an adult — were in a serious condition. Two other children were "slightly hurt," police said.

President Emmanuel Macron said in a tweet that the suspect had carried out "an attack of cowardice" and said those injured were "between life and death."

France Knife Attack in Annecy
Footage captured Thursday appears to show a man armed with a knife running away from the scene. AFP - Getty Images

Lawmakers in the French Parliament interrupted a debate to hold a minute’s silence following news of the attack.

A group of school children were on a supervised trip to Lake Annecy in the country's south when the attack happened at 9.45 a.m. local time (3:45 a.m. ET), the French National Police said.

Police said the attack took place in Le Pâquier d'Annecy, a park on the north side of the lake, which has a children's play area and spectacular views across the lake and surrounding mountains.

Officials initially gave a higher count of those injured, but later revised the tally down.

A man armed with a knife attacked a group of children aged around three years old as they played in a park near the lake in the town at around 9:45 am local time.
Police secure a cordon in Annecy, following a mass stabbing Thursday.Olivier Chassignole / AFP - Getty Images

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said in a tweet that the suspect "was arrested thanks to the very rapid intervention of the police."

Annecy Mayor François Astorg called the attack "appalling" and said there would be a news conference later.

The suspect is a 31-year-old of Syrian origin but a motive was unclear, police said.

This is a developing story. Check back here for updates soon.

Nancy Ing reported from Paris, and Patrick Smith reported from London.