Four people were injured, two seriously, in a knife attack in Paris Friday outside the former offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Prime Minister Jean Castex said.
Two of the victims were in a critical condition, the Paris police department said.
French police have detained several suspects, a judicial source said. A first suspect was detained near the Place de la Bastille close to the scene of the incident.
France’s anti-terror prosecutors’ office said Friday that they had opened an inquiry into the knife attack.
The suspected attackers will be questioned over “attempted murder related to terrorism” and “conspiracy with terrorists,” the office said.
Deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire tweeted that police were hunting a “potentially dangerous” individual.
The Paris metro closed lines in the area.
Police later said one suspect had been detained after the attack, which occurred as the trial was underway for the alleged accomplices of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack.
“A serious event has taken place in Paris,” said Castex, who was addressing reporters at the time and cut short a visit to northern Paris to head instead to the crisis centre of the interior ministry.
“Four people have been wounded and it seems that two are in a serious condition,” he said.
He added the attack had taken place “in front of” the weekly’s former offices in the 11th district of central Paris. The magazine’s current address is kept secret for security reasons.
The stabbing came as a trial was underway in the capital for alleged accomplices of the authors of the January 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo.
Twelve people, including some of France’s most celebrated cartoonists, were killed in the attack by brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi and claimed by a branch of al-Qaeda.
The trial in Paris had resumed Friday after a suspect’s coronavirus test came back negative.
The hearing for fourteen suspects, which opened on September 2, was postponed Thursday after Nezar Mickael Pastor Alwatik fell ill in the stand.
His lawyer Marie Dose said her client had suffered from “a lot of fever, coughing, vomiting and headaches”.
He was back in the box on Friday, after the presiding judge informed defence and prosecution lawyers by SMS late Thursday that the test results allowed for the trial to go ahead.