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Knife-wielding Man Attacks Soldier in Paris, No Injuries | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A passenger at the Chatelet-Les Halles station on March 9, 2016. Geoffroy Van der Hasselt / AFP

A knife-wielding man attacked a soldier on a counter-terrorism patrol in central Paris on Friday but did not cause any injuries, police said.

The attacker lunged at the soldier around 6.30 am at the Chatelet station, a busy central hub for the metro and the suburban RER rail network that carries commuters into Paris from the capital’s sprawling suburbs, a police source said. The soldier quickly brought the man under control.

The attacker was not previously known to police, a source said.

The incident came with France still on high alert following a string of terror attacks which began in January 2015 and which left more than 230 people dead.

Following that attack, the government launched an operation known as Sentinelle, deploying some 7,000 troops across the country to guard high-risk areas such as tourist sites and religious buildings. 

Since then, there has been a string of assaults by individual attackers targeting these soldiers, including at Paris’s Orly airport, sparking a debate over whether the troops should remain on the streets.

French defense minister Florence Parly told Europe 1 radio the fact that the attacker was swiftly brought under control Friday was “proof of the professionalism and efficiency of the Sentinelle soldiers in their mission to protect.”

She said she had no further details on the assailant or his motives.