Paris attack: Two people stabbed near former Charlie Hebdo office

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Two people were stabbed and seriously injured near the former offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Two suspects were arrested. One of them was confiscated in the nearby Bastille with blood on his clothing, police told the BBC.

The anti-terror police have taken over the investigation.

A security chain has been set up in the 11th arrondissement to the east of Paris.

The nearby subway stations were closed and five schools in the area were immediately closed. The schools were allowed to reopen a few hours later.

A blade known as a machete, or meat cleaver, was recovered from the site of the attack near Richard-Lenoir Boulevard.

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Police officers quoted by French media said the “main suspect” is from Pakistan and the second person arrested is from Algeria. They have not yet been named and a connection between them has not been disclosed.

The victims’ conditions were not made public, despite French Prime Minister Jean Castex telling local reporters that their lives were not in danger.

The attack comes as a high-profile trial of 14 people is underway in Paris who are alleged to have assisted two jihadists in carrying out the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo that killed 12 people.

Image rightsReutersImage descriptionThe heavily armed police quickly cordoned off the area

The two wounded were employees of a television production company, one of their colleagues told the AFP news agency.

“Two colleagues were smoking a cigarette in front of the building on the street. I heard shouts. I went to the window and saw one of my blood-covered colleagues being followed by a man with a machete in the street,” said another member of the employees of the Premières Lignes production company said.

The company has offices on Rue Nicolas Appert, a side street off Boulevard Richard Lenoir where Charlie Hebdo’s former offices are. Nearby is a mural depicting the 12 people killed in the Charlie Hebdo attack.

The satirical magazine has now moved to a secret location.

Mr Castex visited the scene accompanied by Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

The Prime Minister reaffirmed the government’s “firm commitment to fight terrorism by all possible means”.

Image rightsReutersImage descriptionFrench Prime Minister Jean Castex visited the scene, which was flanked by Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo

At a press conference, the anti-terror prosecutor Jean-François Ricard confirmed that the “main culprit” had been arrested and said a “second person” was also in custody.

“The investigation is ongoing,” he said.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council and former Prime Minister of Belgium, expressed “full solidarity with the French people”.

“All my thoughts are with the victims of this cowardly act of violence. Terror has no place in European territory,” he tweeted.

In a tweet, Charlie Hebdo expressed its “support and solidarity with its ex-neighbors … and the people affected by this heinous attack”.

Charlie Hebdo marked the beginning of the process by reprinting controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that sparked protests in several Muslim countries.

In response, the militant group al-Qaeda renewed its threat to the magazine.

The magazine’s human resources manager said earlier this week that she moved out of her home following death threats.

The defendants in the trial are also charged with assisting another jihadist in a similar attack, in which he shot and killed a police officer, then attacked a Jewish shop and killed four people.

The 17 victims were killed over a period of three days. All three attackers were killed by the police. The killings marked the beginning of a wave of jihadist attacks across France that killed more than 250 people.

Image rightsReutersImage descriptionThe public was told to avoid the area in the 11th arrondissement of Paris

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